News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2016

  • April 21, 2016
    Consumers who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are unaware of the risks related to using these pain medications, according to a new survey. About 58% of those surveyed recognize that there are risks associated with taking NSAIDs, but only 27% of people surveyed are aware of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recommendation to use the lowest effective NSAID dose for the shortest duration possible. The survey also found that 62% of people experienced at least one side effect.
  • April 20, 2016
    Opioid abuse could be costing U.S. employers up to $8 billion annually, according to “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce,” a report by the benefits firm Castlight Health. Employees who abuse opioids cost employers almost twice as much in healthcare expenses on average, compared with workers who don’t abuse opioids, the report found. The average healthcare cost for employees who abuse opioids is $19,450, compared with $10,853 for employees who do not abuse opioids. Castlight recommends employers, especially those with large and diverse workforces, analyze where lower back
  • April 18, 2016
    A new study offers further evidence that using proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to alleviate conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux may seriously damage the kidneys. Tapping into Department of Veterans Affairs national databases, researchers identified 170,000 new users of PPIs and tracked them for 5 years. By the end of the study period, 15% of the PPI users had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. By comparison, the condition was confirmed in only 11% of 20,000 first-time users of histamine H2 receptor blockers—another class of drugs used to
  • April 13, 2016
    The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force finalized its guidelines on the use of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer. The task force now recommends that people between the ages of 50-59 who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and do not have an elevated risk of bleeding should consider low- dose aspirin for the primary prevention of both CVD and colorectal cancer. For adults 60-69 the decision to start on a low-dose aspirin regimen should be made on a case-by-case basis. (Source: USPSTF publishes
  • April 11, 2016
    In 2012, nearly 6,000 children aged 0 through 4 were hospitalized and another 55,000 were treated and released from U.S. emergency rooms for medication poisoning (Health Care Utilization Project, National Inpatient Sample and National Emergency Department Sample, 2012). These poisonings resulted in $154 million in medical spending and $14 million in parent work losses (CSN EDARC analysis). Nearly all emergency department visits to young children (95 percent) are a result of unsupervised children getting into medication; only five percent of these visits
  • April 7, 2016
    Many of today’s important medications are biological products. Biological products are made from living organisms. The material they are made from can come from many sources, including humans, animals and microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast. Biological products are manufactured through biotechnology, derived from natural sources or, in some cases, produced synthetically. Biological products are among the medications used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, low white blood cell counts, inflammatory bowel disease, skin conditions such as psoriasis and
  • April 4, 2016
  • April 4, 2016
    Arizona Republic/AZCentral
  • April 1, 2016
    FDA released on Thursday draft guidance on biosimilar labels. According to the guidance, biosimilar labeling—as with generics—should include a description of the clinical data that supported safety and efficacy of the reference product. FDA notes, however, that in situations where a biosimilar is not approved for the same indications as its reference product—unlike with generics—"it may be necessary to include information in the biosimilar product labeling relating to an indication(s) for which the biosimilar product applicant is not seeking licensure, in order to
  • April 1, 2016

    Medication errors come in all shapes and sizes, from overdoses to misunderstanding doses to drug name mix-ups to patients receiving the wrong medication or using the wrong dosage units. In fact, since 2000, FDA has received more than 95,000 voluntary reports of medication errors. Even though there are systems in place to prevent medication errors, it often comes down to the pharmacist to keep patients safe and make sure they are getting the right medications at the right dose.

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