News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • April 28, 2010
    One-third of American drinkers over age 60 consume excessive amounts of alcohol, are at risk of dangerous interactions between alcohol and medications, or have illnesses that can be exacerbated by drinking, according to researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A study of 3,308 clinic patients in California found that 34.7 percent of drinkers were considered high-risk, with more than half falling into at least two of the three risk categories. Patients ages 60-64 were twice as likely to be at-risk
  • April 14, 2010
    Medicines in My Home (MIMH), a Food and Drug Administration multimedia, educational program on how to use the Drug Facts label to choose over- the-counter medicines and use them safely, has updated the entire site with new resources and new materials. The latest addition is an interactive video presentation. The MIMH family invites you into their “Interactive Home” for a unique new way to learn about over-the-counter medicines and the Drug Facts label. There you can move at your own pace, learn through doing
  • April 8, 2010
    Cardinal Health and Ohio State University College of Pharmacy have teamed up to curb prescription drug abuse in their communities by developing the Generation Rx toolkit, to help pharmacists work with concerned citizens, local schools and civic organizations to fight this growing social health problem in their communities. The online toolkit contains all of the communications materials needed to educate local schools and community organizations about the scope and consequences of prescription medication abuse and misuse. It also shares information about how to
  • April 6, 2010
    Poisoning by powerful prescription painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers; City- living middle-aged women particularly vulnerable — According to Dr. Jeffrey H. Coben, West Virginia University School of Medicine, across the country, very significant increases in serious overdoses associated with these prescription drugs are being seen. Between 1999 and 2006, US hospital admissions due to poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers rose from approximately 43,000 to about 71,000. That increase of 65 percent is about double the increase
  • April 5, 2010
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new formulation of the controlled-release drug OxyContin that has been designed to help discourage misuse and abuse of the medication. OxyContin is made to slowly release the potent opioid oxycodone to treat patients who require a continuous, around-the- clock opioid analgesic for management of their moderate to severe pain for an extended period of time. Because of its controlled-release properties, each OxyContin tablet contains a large quantity of oxycodone, which allows patients to
  • March 30, 2010
    The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is posting in the Federal Register on Wednesday an interim final rule that would permit hospitals, healthcare providers, and pharmacies to use electronic prescriptions in the dispensing of controlled drugs. Comments on the rule will be open for 60 days. The rule is similar to a regulation proposed by DEA in June 2008 for e-prescribing. That provision ran into trouble when federal healthcare providers told DEA that the approach proposed for the private sector was inconsistent with their existing
  • March 22, 2010
    Wilmington News Journal
  • March 19, 2010
    Eli Lilly and Company has issued a statement and details regarding the stolen company products from its distribution operations in Enfield, Connecticut on Sunday, March 14. Lilly is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other law enforcement officials to recover cases of select lots of pharmaceutical products that were stolen from one of Lilly’s U.S. distribution centers in Enfield, Connecticut, on Sunday, March 14, 2010. For a list of stolen medicines see the above link. Product from the affected lots which had been delivered from Lilly to retailers,
  • March 15, 2010
    The Food and Drug Administration added a boxed warning to the anti-blood clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel), alerting patients and health care professionals that the drug can be less effective in people who cannot metabolize the drug to convert it to its active form. Plavix reduces the risk of heart attack, unstable angina, stroke, and cardiovascular death in patients with cardiovascular disease by making platelets less likely to form blood clots. Plavix does not have its anti-platelet effects until it is metabolized into its active form by the liver enzyme, CYP2C19.
  • March 3, 2010
    A small study suggests that older psychiatric inpatients may be a “vulnerable target” for polypharmacy and are, in fact, frequently discharged with multiple medications that have potentially hazardous interactions, according to data reported at the European Psychiatric Association 18th European Congress of Psychiatry. Researchers presented the results of a study that assessed the extent of polypharmacy and potential drug interactions in 25 elderly psychiatric inpatients at the time they were discharged from the hospital to their home, a nursing home,