News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • May 4, 2016
    The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), is a proud partner in the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s CHECK. CHANGE. CONTROL. Leadership Community, working to propose solutions to one of our nation’s most threatening health emergencies. Despite efforts to decrease the prevalence of hypertension in the United States by increasing awareness, treatment and control, nearly 78 million or one in three Americans have high blood pressure. Especially alarming is that high
  • May 4, 2016
    The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), is partnering with Walgreens to battle prescription drug abuse. Through the collaboration, the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies will continue to offer a substance abuse education program for pharmacists and student pharmacists. The 4-day program, which will provide pharmacy professionals with key information and resources on the disease of addiction, is scheduled to start on June 3 in Salt Lake City. "We are pleased to have the support of Walgreens to work along with the profession as the epidemic of substance
  • May 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.

  • April 26, 2016
    Medicines no longer being used may pose grave and unnecessary dangers to families and the people visiting their homes. In addition to reducing potential harm from use of expired or use of these medicines in the wrong hands, an important effect of National Take Back Day is that it helps to divert medicines from entering the environment and the potential environmental impact of disposing unused medicines in household trash, or by flushing. FDA, other Federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are studying medicine in the
  • April 22, 2016
    Maine is the second state to require e-prescribing for controlled substances. Such a mandate took effect in New York March 27. “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program,” requires Maine prescriber participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program and sets limits for the strength and duration of opioid prescriptions, beginning January 2017. The law also calls for prescribers to undergo addiction training every two years.
  • April 21, 2016
    Consumers who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are unaware of the risks related to using these pain medications, according to a new survey. About 58% of those surveyed recognize that there are risks associated with taking NSAIDs, but only 27% of people surveyed are aware of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recommendation to use the lowest effective NSAID dose for the shortest duration possible. The survey also found that 62% of people experienced at least one side effect.
  • April 20, 2016
    Opioid abuse could be costing U.S. employers up to $8 billion annually, according to “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce,” a report by the benefits firm Castlight Health. Employees who abuse opioids cost employers almost twice as much in healthcare expenses on average, compared with workers who don’t abuse opioids, the report found. The average healthcare cost for employees who abuse opioids is $19,450, compared with $10,853 for employees who do not abuse opioids. Castlight recommends employers, especially those with large and diverse workforces, analyze where lower back
  • April 18, 2016
    A new study offers further evidence that using proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to alleviate conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux may seriously damage the kidneys. Tapping into Department of Veterans Affairs national databases, researchers identified 170,000 new users of PPIs and tracked them for 5 years. By the end of the study period, 15% of the PPI users had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. By comparison, the condition was confirmed in only 11% of 20,000 first-time users of histamine H2 receptor blockers—another class of drugs used to
  • April 13, 2016
    The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force finalized its guidelines on the use of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer. The task force now recommends that people between the ages of 50-59 who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and do not have an elevated risk of bleeding should consider low- dose aspirin for the primary prevention of both CVD and colorectal cancer. For adults 60-69 the decision to start on a low-dose aspirin regimen should be made on a case-by-case basis. (Source: USPSTF publishes
  • April 11, 2016
    In 2012, nearly 6,000 children aged 0 through 4 were hospitalized and another 55,000 were treated and released from U.S. emergency rooms for medication poisoning (Health Care Utilization Project, National Inpatient Sample and National Emergency Department Sample, 2012). These poisonings resulted in $154 million in medical spending and $14 million in parent work losses (CSN EDARC analysis). Nearly all emergency department visits to young children (95 percent) are a result of unsupervised children getting into medication; only five percent of these visits