News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • 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,
  • March 2, 2010
    In her latest column, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), highlights for consumers information on two common medicines used to treat high blood pressure, and explains the steps individuals can take to find the medicine that works best for them.
  • February 18, 2010
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received five reports of serious medication errors involving consumers who used Maalox Total Relief, the upset stomach reliever and anti-diarrheal medication, by mistake, when they had intended to use one of the traditional Maalox liquid antacid products. Due to the potential for serious adverse events from product confusion, the maker of Maalox brand products has agreed to:
    • Change the name of Maalox Total Relief to one that will not include the name “Maalox” and revise the graphics and information displayed on the front
  • February 17, 2010
    Medicines are safe and effective only if used as directed, said Margaret Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor-health for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. “There are more than 100,000 drug products on the market,” she said. Each has at least one active ingredient that works with your body to relieve symptoms. “With more than 1,000 active ingredients on the market, overdosing, drug interactions and drug abuse of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are growing increasingly common." With the number of over-the-counter and prescribed medicines that might be in a
  • February 16, 2010
    The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a recent new member of the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), is actively seeking resource support to develop a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program for pharmacists and pharmacist technicians that will educate about celiac disease and the identification of gluten in medication. NFCA current educational programming, the Gluten-free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) programs, provides comprehensive information for food service and