News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • March 3, 2005
    The Alliance for Aging Research has conducted the Women’s Bone Health Survey, asking 752 postmenopausal women (PMW) diagnosed with osteoporosis and 352 physicians to offer an in-depth look at their respective attitudes and beliefs about protecting bone health. The survey revealed that doctors and patients may not be speaking the same language, nor speaking often enough, about osteoporosis. More than half of doctors (56 percent) do not speak with their osteoporosis patients about the condition at each visit, and two-thirds of patients surveyed (62
  • March 1, 2005
    The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) announced that it is now accepting applications for accreditation through the Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD) program. VAWD accredits wholesale distributors of prescription drugs and devices and serves as a vehicle to help protect the public from the threat of counterfeit drugs affecting the United States' drug supply. VAWD accreditation assures stakeholders that wholesaler distributors are legitimate, qualified for state licensure, and employing security and best practices
  • February 22, 2005
    HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and Acting FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford unveiled a new vision for FDA that will promote a culture of openness and enhanced oversight within the Agency. As part of this vision, FDA will create a new independent Drug Safety Oversight Board to oversee the management of drug safety issues, and will provide emerging information to health providers and patients about the risks and benefits of medicines. The DSB will comprise members from the FDA and medical experts from other HHS agencies and government
  • February 14, 2005
    FDA is aware of Health Canada’s decision to suspend sales, but not revoke the approval in Canada, of the drug Adderall as a treatment for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). FDA has been in close consultation with the Canadian authorities regarding the FDA basis for their action. FDA does not feel that any immediate changes are warranted in the FDA labeling or approved use of this drug based upon its preliminary understanding of Health Canada’s analyses of adverse even reports and FDA’s own knowledge and assessment of the reports
  • 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.