News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • April 21, 2008
    New guides that compare the benefits, risks, and price estimates of rheumatoid arthritis drugs are now available from the Effective Health Care program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ. The guide for consumers, Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines, A Guide for Adults, and the guide for clinicians,
  • March 26, 2008
    Many people have trouble keeping track of their medicines. A pill card is a simple, visual way to show all of the medicines that a person needs to take on a regular basis. The pill card uses pictures and simple phrases to show each medicine, its purpose, how much to take, and when to take it. It is easier to understand than the complicated information and instructions that typically come with medicines. This 10-page guide, prepared under contract for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), provides step-by-step instructions for creating a pill
  • March 25, 2008
    Drug Topics
  • March 17, 2008
    The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to help protect the nation’s fish and aquatic resources from the improper disposal of medication. The campaign — dubbed “SMARxT DISPOSAL” — will inform people on how to safely dispose of medicines in the trash, and highlight the environmental threat posed from flushing medicines down the toilet. APhA, PhRMA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say these small steps can make a huge difference:
  • March 11, 2008
    Today 24 million people have Alzheimer’s worldwide. This will quadruple to 100 million by 2050. The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, and currently, there are no therapies to prevent or cure this fatal disease. The Alliance for Aging Research released the four “pocket films” — tools to build broad awareness about the disease and its consequences — at a briefing in Washington, DC. The films are written and directed by noted author and Alzheimer’s Disease lecturer David Shenk and narrated by the well known actor, David Hyde Pierce. Titles of the
  • February 27, 2008
    Recently published research in a study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has found that nearly 50 percent of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with low health literacy. The study was published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and looked at 119 patients, average age 55; from community health
  • February 19, 2008
    These Guidelines provide pharmacists and pharmacies with specific recommendations for making important medication information accessible for patients with vision loss. The Guidelines are a collaborative project of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation and the American Foundation for the Blind. The Guidelines also serve as a resource for persons with vision loss and organizations serving this population. Included in the Guidelines: * General Recommendations for Prescription Labels; * Specific Recommendations for Large-Print prescription and Auxiliary labels;
  • February 11, 2008
    The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP /the Council) has issued a set of recommendations to help minimize the potential for errors associated with the use of suffixes in some drug names. (Examples of suffixes include CD, SR, etc.) The Council calls upon regulatory and standards-setting agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, practitioners, and other stakeholders to collaborate in implementing strategies to address this issue. The Council recommends the immediate development of educational tools and programs
  • January 17, 2008
    Parents should not give children under age two over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is issuing a public health advisory to warn parents to avoid these drugs for children under age two due to the possibility of serious and potentially life- threatening side effects. Pharmaceutical companies quit selling dozens of versions of OTC cough and cold medicines targeted specifically to babies and toddlers in Oct. 2007. That same month, the FDA advisers voted that these medicines don't work in small children
  • January 10, 2008
    About 3.1 million people in the United States aged 12 to 25 (5.3 percent of this age group) have used over-the-counter (non-prescription) cough and cold medicines to get high at least once in their lifetimes, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The level is comparable to LSD, and more than the reported use of methamphetamines, among those aged 12 to 25. White youths were more than three times as likely as Black youths to have misused these drugs during the past year.