News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • February 16, 2017

    Medication nonadherence is a tenacious problem with dramatic consequences. According to the American Heart Association, non-adherence kills 125,000 Americans and costs the health care system $300 billion annually. The issue spurred a partnership between the Pharmacists Association of Western New York (PAWNY) and third-party payer Independent Health, yielding promising results for improved outcomes, cost savings, and the establishment of pharmacists as health care providers.

  • February 16, 2017

    Information from the FDA, including commonly asked questions about cholesterol and statins: 1. What are statins? How do they work? 2. Why is it important to keep cholesterol levels in the blood low? 3. I’ve heard about “good” and “bad” cholesterol. What’s the difference? 4. I thought a healthy diet and regular exercise would keep my cholesterol in check. Not so? 5. I’ve heard that there are some risks to taking statins. Should I be worried? 6. I’ve heard you shouldn’t drink grapefruit juice if you’re taking a statin. Is that true?

  • February 13, 2017

    High drug costs kept about 45 million U.S. adults (18%) from filling a prescription last year, the nonprofit group Prescription Justice reports. Elsewhere, the percentage of adults not filling prescriptions due to cost in 2016 was 2% in the United Kingdom, where prescriptions are largely covered by national health insurance; 10% in Canada; 9% in Switzerland; 6% in Australia; 6% in New Zealand; 6% in Sweden; 4% in France; 4% in the Netherlands; and 3% in Norway. The report noted that the percentage in the United States has actually come down from 21%, before the

  • February 3, 2017

    In litigation based on bad outcomes from drug therapy, courts often evaluate the shared responsibilities of the prescriber, the pharmacist, and the patient. A recent case from Pennsylvania provides the opportunity to consider the significance of a prescriber’s verification to a pharmacist of prescriptions that were issued with ambiguous directions. The case also considers the relevance of the patient’s prior nonadherence with drug therapy. (Source: Pharmacy Today, Jan. 2017, Volume 23, Issue 1, Page 45)

  • February 3, 2017

    A free, downloadable new brochure available from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Includes information on: What Is a Dietary Supplement and What Are the Benefits of Using Supplements?; Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Dietary Supplements?; What Sources Should I Trust When Selecting Dietary Supplements?; How Can I Use Supplements Safely?; and Helpful Resources About Good Nutrition and Dietary Supplements.

  • February 1, 2017

    NCPIE serves as co-editor for a monthly column in Pharmacy Today (American Pharmacists Association) The column is entitled “One-to-One” and is intended to help develop pharmacists’ medication communication and counseling skills to promote safe and appropriate medicine use.

  • January 27, 2017

    The FDA is providing educational messaging to extend the reach of its Safe Use of Acetaminophen campaign to educate the public on the proper use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and to warn that taking too much acetaminophen can be dangerous. The campaign website offers resources for consumers, health professionals, organizations, and campaign supporters on improving consumer safety.

  • January 27, 2017

    A new study found significant racial and gender differences in use of stimulants on college campuses. White students were more likely to have prescriptions for the drugs. Asians and Latinos in the study were more likely to engage in smoking prescription stimulants, which can alter the rate of release, absorption, bioavailability and reinforcing effects of the drug, which could increase vulnerability for dependence. The researchers also found that Asians and Latinos were more likely to pay more for the pills than white students. Whites were more likely to take the drugs to party

  • January 23, 2017

    FDA is warning about the possibility of illness or death in pets exposed to the topical cancer drug fluorouracil cream USP 5% (5-FU). The agency cautioned pharmacists, health care providers, veterinarians, and pet owners that it has received reports of five dogs that became sick and died after accidentally ingesting the cream. People who use the drug should use care when storing and applying the drug if they are in a household with pets, FDA said, noting that even minute amounts can be dangerous for pets.

  • January 12, 2017

    An interactive web app with state-by-state fact sheets describing CDC’s key investments to combat antibiotic resistance and protect patients across the nation. Using fiscal year 2016 funding data, the AR Investment Map and fact sheets can be used to better understand how CDC supports AR activities locally. With these investments, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), in partnership with health departments, academia, and healthcare, is transforming how the nation combats and slows antibiotic resistance at all levels.