News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • April 6, 2009
    The number of American children and teens taking drugs to lower blood pressure and control diabetes has risen significantly since 2004, according to a new study. The study is one of several reports on childhood obesity in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers at CVS Caremark used the company’s drug database to track prescriptions filled on behalf of children and adolescents. Increases in all age groups [between] 6 to 18 years of age were noted. The youngest age group, the 6-to-10-year population, realized the
  • April 2, 2009
    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report March 23 entitled Nonprescription Drugs: Considerations Regarding a Behind-the-Counter Drug Class. While the report does not include a recommendation either for or against a behind-the-counter (BTC) class of drugs in the United States, GAO concludes that they found no association between the restrictions placed on the availability of particular drugs in our sample by the study countries and the presence of a BTC drug class. The report stresses that several important issues
  • 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: