News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • June 22, 2010
    The excesses of the Baby Boomer generation are starting to show up at the door of U.S. treatment programs, which saw admissions of patients ages 50 and older almost double between 1992 and 2008. Patients over age 50 comprised 12.2 percent of all treatment admissions in 2008, up from 6.6 percent in 1992. Admissions for heroin use among this age group more than doubled, cocaine admissions quadrupled, and significant increases in older Americans seeking treatment for prescription drugs and marijuana also were reported. More older
  • June 18, 2010
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today warned consumers about a potentially harmful product represented as “Generic Tamiflu” sold over the Internet. FDA tests revealed that the fraudulent product does not contain Tamiflu’s active ingredient, oseltamivir, but cloxacillin, an ingredient in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin. FDA reminds patients who are allergic to or may have experienced adverse reactions from penicillin products that they are at risk of experiencing similar reactions from cloxacillin. This includes a sudden, potentially life-threatening
  • June 2, 2010
    Capping a decade-long effort by pharmacy and technology interests to modernize all facets of the prescription prescribing and dispensing process, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has struck down legal impediments to the electronic prescribing of controlled substances. In a June 1 announcement, the DEA issued its interim final rule allowing for the paperless prescribing of controlled substances. Publication of the new rule clears away the last barrier preventing doctors and pharmacists from shifting controlled medicines into information
  • June 1, 2010
    When patients get out of the hospital, it’s usually a sign that their health is getting better and they're ready to recover at home. Unfortunately, millions of patients each year end up back in the hospital. In fact, 1 in 5 Medicare patients go back within 1 month of being released. Even more people face unexpected medical problems within weeks of leaving the hospital. Many of the medical problems that send patients back to the hospital could have been avoided in the first place. What causes these problems to happen?
  • May 21, 2010
    McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., is reminding parents and caregivers to check their infants’ and children’s forms of TYLENOL®, MOTRIN®, ZYRTEC® and BENADRYL® after the April 30, 2010 voluntary recall. Please note that this recall did not affect children’s solid dosage forms such as chewables McNeil Consumer Healthcare initiated the voluntary recall because some of these products did not meet required quality standards. The recall was not undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. However, as a precautionary measure,
  • May 20, 2010
    New York Times
  • May 18, 2010
    Though a grant awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the University of Maine’s Center on Aging has completed the first statewide mail-back pilot program for managing pharmaceutical waste from consumers. Studies show that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation’s waterbodies and that certain drugs may cause ecological harm. EPA is currently evaluating the potential risks associated with pharmaceuticals and personal care products on public health and aquatic life. The program included the use of mailers to return unused and unwanted
  • May 17, 2010
    A U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) advisory panel recently issued a set of recommendations to establish universal standards for prescription medication labels. The patient-centered recommendations were developed following a call for such standards by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on the issue of health literacy. The recommendations were presented to the IOM Health Literacy Roundtable on April 27, 2010. Background To examine what is known about how medication container labeling affects
  • May 11, 2010
    The NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health podcast, “Pinn Point on Women’s Health,” provides updates on women’s health research, and is hosted by Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., director of NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health. This month, Dr. Pinn interviewed Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). According to Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “in general, males tend to take more drugs than females. The exception is the period of time between 12 and 17 years of age. There, we see a higher rate
  • May 3, 2010
    On Wednesday, May 19th , 2.30 pm 5.00 pm, the Swedish Trade Council and the Embassy of Sweden will host a free seminar on Healthcare Quality at the Swedish Embassy (2900 K Street, NW) in Washington D.C. The seminar is part of a three month long program at the Embassy focusing on “Health and Care” and the purpose is to provide a forum for dialogue between policy makers, researchers, experts and our citizens. NCPIE has been asked to help publicize this seminar which will focus on the issue of improving accuracy and minimizing overuse of services and medication, with the