News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • August 25, 2016
    Many patients with clogged arteries or those who have survived a heart attack don't consistently take medications prescribed to prevent life-threatening complications, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Less than half of patients took their drugs at least four out of every five days, a rate that lowered the odds of death, heart attack and surgery. “We have effective, safe inexpensive drugs that prevent stroke, death and heart attack but they don't work unless the patient chooses to take them,” said Dr. Marie Brown, a
  • August 16, 2016
    New research links use of acetaminophen during pregnancy to higher risk for multiple behavioral problems in children. The study, conducted by Evie Stergiakouli, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and colleagues, examined the associations between offspring behavioral problems and maternal prenatal acetaminophen use, maternal postnatal acetaminophen use, and her partner’s acetaminophen use. Conclusions and Relevance: Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral
  • August 10, 2016
    African Americans have been largely insulated from the opioid crisis—possibly due to insurance gaps and a general aversion to the drugs, but also likely due to stereotyping and discrimination. One analysis, which reviewed 20 years of published research, found that African Americans were 34% less likely to get prescription opioids for migraines and back or abdominal pain. They were 14% less likely to be prescribed them even following surgery or a serious injury. Other studies have also documented the reluctance to treat African Americans with opioids. Researchers surmise that
  • August 9, 2016
    Many of the more than 6 million U.S. children who have asthma may not have quick access to lifesaving medicine at schools, the American Lung Association (ALA) reports, noting that children may face barriers including the inability to self-carry an asthma inhaler or lack of access to a school nurse during the school day, after-school daycare, or off-campus school activities. According to the American Lung Association, asthma is a manageable disease, but it is essential for children to have fast and reliable access to asthma medications in schools (Source: American Lung Association)
  • August 8, 2016
    Every day, more than 75 people in our country die from a prescription drug or heroin overdose. In 2013, nearly 249 million prescriptions were written for opioids – enough for every adult in America to have a bottle of pills. To address the opioid epidemic that is pulling apart families and communities, the U.S. Surgeon General has launched This site provides critical information about opioids, including risks, benefits and clear guidance on how best to prescribe these medications. For clinicians, there are tools for treatment and in-the-trenches stories from
  • August 8, 2016
    Summer is still with us. Be sure to know the facts about sunscreen safety Sunscreen Safety and the dangers of spending time in the sun without the proper sun protection. The FDA’s Sunscreen Safety website offers resources for consumers, health professionals, organizations, and campaign supporters on sun protection measures including:
    • Limiting time in the sun when the sun’s rays are most intense
    • Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun
    • Using Broad Spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed
  • August 4, 2016
    Pharmacy interventions and benefit plan designs with low copays could be key factors in helping to improve adherence to statin medications for patients living in minority communities, according to a new study developed in collaboration between Walgreens and the University of Chicago. In these predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods, better adherence was associated with several variables, including copays under $10, the use of 90-day refills, and whether a patient had a health plan other than Medicaid. The study specifically compared adherence rates
  • August 3, 2016
    Even if you eat a wide variety of foods, how can you be sure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need as you get older? If you are over 50, your nutritional needs may change. Informed food choices are the first place to start, making sure you get a variety of foods while watching your calorie intake. Supplements and fortified foods may also help you get appropriate amounts of nutrients. To help you make informed decisions, talk to your doctor and/or registered dietitian. They can work together with you to determine if your intake of a specific
  • August 3, 2016
    Many older adults have long lists of medications. A 2008 study found that more than 50% of older individuals take at least five medications. However, problems can arise when patients continue taking drugs for conditions that may be temporary; when they expect a prescription for treatment; and when patients see numerous doctors, who may not
  • August 1, 2016

    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.