News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • September 24, 2015
    The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse has introduced a new tool to help colleges cut down on student drinking, CNN reports. CollegeAIM includes 60 alcohol interventions, with information on their effectiveness, costs and barriers to implementation. The guide includes a wide variety of interventions, from requiring Friday morning classes to restricting happy hours and other drinking promotions. CollegeAIM can help schools choose wisely among available strategies, boosting their chances for success and helping them improve the health and safety of their students.
  • September 21, 2015
    The number of mobile health applications available to consumers now surpasses 165,000, as developers incorporate innovative data collection features linked to sensors and wearables, according to a new report released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. While most available apps focus on overall wellness, healthcare systems and professionals are expressing greater interest and excitement in broader app use as barriers to mainstream adoption of mHealth are removed—especially in the area of chronic disease management.
  • September 16, 2015
    Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Proteus Digital Health announced that the FDA has accepted their New Drug Application (NDA) for the drug Abilify, which will be manufactured with an embedded, ingestible sensor that tracks treatment adherence and physiologic response. Both the sensor and Abilify have already received separate FDA approvals, but this marks the first time the FDA will evaluate a sensor-embedded, clinically approved drug. Proteus’ sensor is a silicon chip, approximately the size of a grain of sand, that uses digestive juices to generate a
  • September 11, 2015
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strengthened the warning for the type 2 diabetes medicine canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet) related to the increased risk of bone fractures and added new information about decreased bone mineral density. Bone mineral density relates to the strength of a person’s bones. To address these safety concerns, FDA added a new Warning and Precaution and revised the Adverse Reactions section of the Invokana and Invokamet drug labels. Health care professionals should consider factors that contribute to fracture
  • September 10, 2015
    To ensure the safe use of biological products, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed draft guidance for industry on the nonproprietary naming of biological products. The draft guidance, “Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products,” details the FDA’s proposed naming convention that is intended to prevent inadvertent substitution of biological products that are not interchangeable and to support the safety monitoring of post-market products, according to an FDA Voice blog post.
  • September 10, 2015
    The prevalence of diabetes among all Americans increased from nearly 10% to over 12% between 1988 and 2012, yet over a third of cases still go undiagnosed, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers also found that more than half of Asian-Americans and nearly half of Hispanic-Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed. Study Abstract
  • September 9, 2015
    The number of children who end up in the emergency room due to accidental medication poisoning is declining, according to a new government study. Approximately 640,000 children age 5 and younger were treated in emergency rooms for ingesting drugs between 2004 and 2013. Of these children, 70 percent were 1- or 2-year- olds, the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Almost one-fifth were hospitalized. During the early 2000s, the number of children’s ER visits increased, peaking at about 76,000 in 2010. The visits decreased to about 59,000 visits in 2013.
  • September 9, 2015
    For the first time since data has been collected, college students’ use of marijuana has surpassed cigarette smoking, according to a new national survey. In 2014, 5.9 percent of college students were smoking marijuana daily or near-daily. That compares with 3.5 percent in 2007. Researchers conducting the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study theorized that much of the increase may be due to the fact that public perception of the dangers of marijuana use have shifted dramatically in recent years with its legalization in a growing number of
  • September 8, 2015
    The use of e-cigarettes by U.S. high school students tripled and the use of hookahs doubled from 2013 to 2014, according to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. The percentage of U.S. high school students reporting past month e-cigarette use increased from 4.5% to 13.4%, while the percentage reporting hookah use increased from 5.2% to 9.4%. Similar results were found for middle school students—e-cigarette use increased from 1.1% to 3.9% and hookah use from 1.1% to 2.5%. At the same time, past month cigarette and cigar use decreased.
  • September 4, 2015
    Winter is the peak season for full-time college students to start non-medical use of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers and stimulants, indicates a new study by SAMHSA. The study, which tracks initiation by month, reveals that in the past year, approximately 251,000 full-time college students started the non-medical use of pain relievers, with an average of 700 initiates a day. However, this rate rises to 850 initiates a day during December, according the study. Further, more students start non-medical use of stimulant medications in November,