News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • February 7, 2005
    The Journal of Women’s Health has published a special issue on improving the use and safety of medications in women, which was edited by Rosaly Correa-de- Araujo, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., AHRQ’s Senior Advisor for Women’s Health. The articles in this issue were based on discussions at an expert meeting called by Dr. Correa- de-Araujo to highlight gender differences in medication use. Topics of the articles include evidence for gender and racial differences in drug response, the role of biological rhythms in medication safety for women, geriatric pharmacotherapy, and
  • January 31, 2005
    A new Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) study found that elderly patients were prescribed at least one medication that could have caused a harmful drug-disease interaction in more than 2.5 percent of outpatient visits. The likelihood that a patient was prescribed a medication that had the potential for a harmful drug-drug interaction was slightly less than 1 percent in visits that involved two or more prescriptions. Using data from 1995 to 2000, researchers assessed the likelihood that a patient would receive a prescription for a medication
  • January 24, 2005
    A revised, plain language version of the 2000 consumer brochure by the same name. NCPIE is pleased to have collaborated with FDA to produce this product.
  • January 10, 2005
    As people across the United States face the coldest months of the year when many respiratory infections become more common, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding people to be cautious about their use of antibiotics. As part of this reminder, CDC is releasing a new series of print and radio public service announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness about proper antibiotic use among parents and healthy adults. The message is part of Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work - a national campaign started one year
  • January 4, 2005
    The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) reports that despite the perception that technology is the panacea that will improve patient safety and reduce medication errors, nearly 20 percent of hospital and health system medication errors reported to USP’s MEDMARX SM program in 2003 involved computerization or automation. However, facilities that have implemented computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) reported fewer harmful errors. According to the 2003 data, automated dispensing devices (ADDs) were implicated in almost 9,000 medication error events
  • January 4, 2005
    On December 31, 2004, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) submitted its Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Model Guidelines (Model Guidelines) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This document fulfills a cooperative agreement between USP and CMS entered into under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The MMA specifically named USP as the organization charged with developing a list of categories and classes that may be used by plans offering the Medicare drug benefit to develop their formularies.


  • December 23, 2004
    Results from the annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey which is overseen by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and conducted by the University of Michigan, indicate an almost 7 percent decline of any illicit drug use in the past month by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined from 2003 to 2004. The Monitoring the Future survey is designed to measure drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students nationwide. The survey noted some areas that raise concern — for example, an increase in
  • December 21, 2004
    The FDA today released the following statement on NIH halting a clinical trial involving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with the National Institutes of Health to review the available scientific information on naproxen following the decision of the National Institute on Aging to halt a clinical trial studying non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary information from the study showed some evidence of
  • December 20, 2004
    NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences announces the launch of TAKING MEDICINES, part of the NIH SeniorHealth Web site. Developed for an older audience, TAKING MEDICINES features easy-to-understand information on safe medication usage, how new medicines are developed, side effects and drug interactions, managing medicines and the safe use of medicines, personalized medicine, and more. TAKING MEDICINES also features video clips and quizzes presented in a user-friendly format that contains a very limited amount of text on
  • December 16, 2004
    Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, has launched a public education campaign and free website designed to help consumers save money on medicines. The reports compare a variety of prescription drugs on price, effectiveness, and safety to help consumers and prescribers identify the most effective and affordable medicines. The first three drugs addressed are for treating cholesterol, heartburn,and arthritis pain ( among about 20 classes of drugs to be posted by the magazine on the web site).