News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2015

  • June 30, 2015
    The Veterans Health Administration, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has produced a series of YouTube videos to educate individuals on the safe administration of naloxone, an emergency opioid-overdose antidote that helps prevent overdose deaths. The videos show how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and administer intranasal or intramuscular naloxone, or use
  • June 17, 2015
    The percentage of boys ages 5-18 taking one or more behavioral medication in 2012 was more than double that of girls: 6.0 percent versus 2.3 percent. Highlights:
  • In 2012, 4.2 percent of children and teenagers ages 5–18 took one or more behavioral medications (2.42 million of 58.35 million children and teenagers).
  • The percentage of boys ages 5–18 taking one or more behavioral medications was more than double the percentage of girls ages 5–18 taking one or more behavioral medications (6.0 percent versus 2.3 percent) in 2012.
  • June 15, 2015
    A recent study has drawn a connection between new use of sedative hypnotics and higher risk of motor vehicle crashes. The new user cohort study involved more than 409,000 adults in an integrated health care system in Washington state. Researchers used proportional hazards regression to estimate the risk of crash associated with three sedatives. Nearly 6% of patients were given new sedative prescriptions, with 11,197 person–years of exposure. Compared with nonuse, new users of sedatives were linked to a greater risk of crashes. The risk estimates for the three drugs were
  • June 11, 2015
    Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk for misuse of prescription stimulants and females are more likely than males to misuse the drugs, a new study has found. Specifically, the research found that an estimated .7 to .8% of young people in this age group reported first-time non-medical use within the last 12 months compared to .1% for 12 to 15 year olds and .6% for 20 to 21 year olds. In addition, the study found that females were more likely to have started non-medical use of prescription stimulants between the ages of 14 and 19, and that
  • June 11, 2015
    Advice from Consumer Reports: Although Internet shopping can lead to more options and better deals for things like electronics and small appliances, consumers should never use the Internet to purchase medications from overseas, a new report from Consumer Reports advises. The article notes that approximately 96.2% of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) operate out of compliance with United States pharmacy laws and practice standards, and also emphasizes that drugs that are shipped from overseas may be expired, improperly stored,
  • June 11, 2015
    FDA Advises: Consumers and caregivers should remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from their homes as quickly as possible to reduce the chance that the drugs may be stolen or accidentally ingested, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns. The agency has provided new resources on its website including an overview of the following three primary methods of medication disposal: • Transferring unused medication to authorized collectors for disposal; • Disposal in household trash; and, • flushing certain medications. (Source: NABP E-News, 6/10/15)
  • June 8, 2015
    Fixed-dose combination (FDC) products may be grossly under available for cardiovascular conditions. Although solid clinical evidence supports the safety and effectiveness of multiple single-agent drugs to treat chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and hypertension, the real-world efficacy of these regimens is held back by their complexity— a key factor in poor medication adherence and health outcomes. Combining several medications into 1 polypill can overcome these obstacles. However, strict regulatory hurdles have had a chilling effect on the
  • June 3, 2015
    The use of potentially inappropriate medications among older people declined between 2006–2007 and 2009–2010, an AHRQ-funded study found. However, there is still an overall high use of such medications, which contributes to poor outcomes and adverse events. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most prevalent of the potentially problematic medications. The article and abstract, “Prevalence of Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults Using the 2012 Beers Criteria,” appeared online March 6 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
  • June 1, 2015

    APhA Pharmacy Today

  • June 1, 2015
    The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has recently funded the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Center for Patient Safety Research and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (MCPHSU) to lead a multi-year project to improve HIT prescribing safety by redesigning computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) to incorporate a medication indication into the prescription order. (See Project Overview.) The first panel in the Indications-based Prescribing project, Introduction to Benefits, Challenges & Construct, was
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