News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • March 31, 2009
    Patients and clinicians should consider risk factors—including age, gender, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking and risk of gastrointestinal bleeding—before deciding whether to use aspirin to prevent heart attacks or strokes, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendations were published in the March 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Task Force found good evidence that aspirin decreases first heart attacks in men and first strokes in women. The more risk
  • March 30, 2009
    Consumers overlook warnings about potential tampering on over-the-counter (OTC) or nonprescription medicines at least 80 percent of the time, suggesting packages and labels need to be redesigned to attract attention and improve safety, according to the research today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Participants spent the most time focused on the brand names and product claims of nonprescription drugs. More than half of those surveyed also missed alerts about child safety on medicines that did not have child-resistant packaging,
  • March 29, 2009
    Pharmaceutical Commerce
  • March 20, 2009
    Diabetes Spectrum American Diabetes Association
  • March 19, 2009
    Millions of Americans suffering from at least one chronic health problem are putting off care, not taking needed medications, and resigning themselves to feelings of isolation and depression according to a new poll commissioned by the National Council on Aging, with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the California HealthCare Foundation. The findings strongly echo those from a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll released last week, which found that more than three-quarters of adult Americans who have health insurance say they still worry about paying more for their medical
  • March 18, 2009
    The United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board released guidelines on how to stop illegal sales of prescription drugs on the Internet. The guidance was issued because a growing number of illegitimate online pharmacies are selling controlled substances without a prescription. The guidelines are intended to provide assistance in formulating national legislation and policies for prescribers, pharmacists, law enforcement authorities, regulatory authorities and the public with regard to the use of the Internet to dispense, purchase, export and import
  • March 16, 2009
    AARP released Rx Snapshot, a free, online tool that anyone can use to help older family members, friends or neighbors manage their medications safely and effectively. An initiative of Create the Good, a network of independent volunteers active in neighborhoods across the country, Rx Snapshot is an easy way to help older Americans record the medications they are taking and talk with their health care professional about how they might better manage their meds. AARP is encouraging people to visit to download
  • March 13, 2009
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced agreements with five partners to study the effects of anesthetics and sedatives on the neurocognitive development of infants and young children. The Safety of Key Inhaled and Intravenous Drugs in Pediatrics (SAFEKIDS) Initiative is a multi-year project designed to address major gaps in scientific information about the safe use of anesthetics and sedatives received by millions of children each year. The FDA’s research partners in the SAFEKIDS Initiative include:
  • March 12, 2009
    According to a study recently completed by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, (CSDD), 75 percent of all health plans in the United States now reimburse patients for off-label prescription drug treatments. Of health plans that reimburse for off-label uses, over half impose conditions, including step therapy, indication restrictions, prior authorization, and quantity limits, and nearly 90% rely on pharmaceutical compendia to inform their off-label use reimbursement decisions, the study found. The findings were based on a Tufts CSDD survey of
  • February 12, 2009
    Americans with financial worries because of the ailing economy may be skipping needed prescription drugs in an attempt to save money, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Nearly 95 percent of doctors surveyed by Epocrates Inc. said they have some concern that patients may not be taking a prescribed drug correctly because of the economic climate. The biggest concern among the 700 doctors surveyed was that patients were simply not filling prescriptions or skipping doses. The doctors also said they believed some patients were splitting pills. The healthcare information company