News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • May 23, 2016
    Once the stepchild of the American health care system, primary care is now the linchpin of efforts to improve the health and health care of individuals and communities and to bring down costs. Factors contributing to the demand for primary care include the coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act and an aging and growing population. But here is the problem: there is a shortage of primary care providers, already acute in some areas of the country, and it’s expected to significantly grow in the years ahead. Coupled with consumer expectations that
  • May 17, 2016
    Electronic medical record (EMR) systems, defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as “an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization,” have the potential to provide substantial benefits to physicians, clinic practices, and health care organizations and improve the quality of patient care and safety. Nevertheless, despite these myriad benefits, the possibility of medical error or misinformation persists.
  • May 12, 2016
    FDA, which relies heavily on user-fee programs to review prescription drugs in an expeditious fashion, may adopt a similar framework to tap industry financial support for the OTC drug evaluation process. Currently, hundreds of thousands of OTC medications—including analgesics, cough and cold treatments, and antiseptics—are marketed through “monographs” without being sanctioned by FDA. Lack of funding and staffing, meanwhile, have slowed finalization of these monographs, giving consumers access to OTC drugs that have yet to be cleared as safe and
  • May 11, 2016
    FDA is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized. Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this
  • May 9, 2016
    SAMHSA’s fifth annual National Prevention Week, “Strong As One. Stronger Together,” May 15-21, 2016, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and prevention of mental and/or substance use disorders. During National Prevention Week, community organizations across the country host health fairs, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. This year’s theme - Strong as One, Stronger Together -recognizes that one person can make a positive difference in their community, but when we all
  • May 6, 2016
    The American Cancer Society (ACS) and CVS Health unveiled a 3-year, $3.6 million effort that aims to increase the number of smoke- and tobacco-free college and university campuses in the United States. The partnership between ACS and CVS Health establishes the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative. Using funding from the CVS Health Foundation, ACS will award grants to colleges and universities in 19 states with the highest need for stronger smoke-free campus policies. In the first year, 25 grants will be awarded, while 50 awards will be given in
  • May 6, 2016
    Canadian researchers have identified gender as the primary non-medical factor affecting whether older adults are prescribed drugs that can be dangerous for their demographic. Reporting in Age and Ageing, the team from the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that women aged 65 years and older were as much as 23% more likely than men their age to be prescribed drugs considered inappropriate for them. “For men, being married or in a high income bracket reduced the risk of receiving inappropriate prescriptions,” said lead investigator Steve Morgan, a
  • 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.