News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • May 11, 2016
    FDA is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized. Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this
  • May 9, 2016
    SAMHSA’s fifth annual National Prevention Week, “Strong As One. Stronger Together,” May 15-21, 2016, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and prevention of mental and/or substance use disorders. During National Prevention Week, community organizations across the country host health fairs, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. This year’s theme - Strong as One, Stronger Together -recognizes that one person can make a positive difference in their community, but when we all
  • May 6, 2016
    The American Cancer Society (ACS) and CVS Health unveiled a 3-year, $3.6 million effort that aims to increase the number of smoke- and tobacco-free college and university campuses in the United States. The partnership between ACS and CVS Health establishes the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative. Using funding from the CVS Health Foundation, ACS will award grants to colleges and universities in 19 states with the highest need for stronger smoke-free campus policies. In the first year, 25 grants will be awarded, while 50 awards will be given in
  • May 6, 2016
    Canadian researchers have identified gender as the primary non-medical factor affecting whether older adults are prescribed drugs that can be dangerous for their demographic. Reporting in Age and Ageing, the team from the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that women aged 65 years and older were as much as 23% more likely than men their age to be prescribed drugs considered inappropriate for them. “For men, being married or in a high income bracket reduced the risk of receiving inappropriate prescriptions,” said lead investigator Steve Morgan, a
  • May 4, 2016
    The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), is a proud partner in the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s CHECK. CHANGE. CONTROL. Leadership Community, working to propose solutions to one of our nation’s most threatening health emergencies. Despite efforts to decrease the prevalence of hypertension in the United States by increasing awareness, treatment and control, nearly 78 million or one in three Americans have high blood pressure. Especially alarming is that high
  • May 4, 2016
    The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), is partnering with Walgreens to battle prescription drug abuse. Through the collaboration, the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies will continue to offer a substance abuse education program for pharmacists and student pharmacists. The 4-day program, which will provide pharmacy professionals with key information and resources on the disease of addiction, is scheduled to start on June 3 in Salt Lake City. "We are pleased to have the support of Walgreens to work along with the profession as the epidemic of substance
  • May 1, 2016

    NCPIE serves as co-editor for a monthly column in Pharmacy Today (American Pharmacists Association) The column is entitled “One-to-One” and is intended to help develop pharmacists’ medication communication and counseling skills to promote safe and appropriate medicine use.

  • April 26, 2016
    Medicines no longer being used may pose grave and unnecessary dangers to families and the people visiting their homes. In addition to reducing potential harm from use of expired or use of these medicines in the wrong hands, an important effect of National Take Back Day is that it helps to divert medicines from entering the environment and the potential environmental impact of disposing unused medicines in household trash, or by flushing. FDA, other Federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are studying medicine in the
  • April 22, 2016
    Maine is the second state to require e-prescribing for controlled substances. Such a mandate took effect in New York March 27. “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program,” requires Maine prescriber participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program and sets limits for the strength and duration of opioid prescriptions, beginning January 2017. The law also calls for prescribers to undergo addiction training every two years.
  • 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.