News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • March 29, 2018

    More than two-thirds of consumers have not talked with their healthcare provider about treatment options beyond prescription opioids, according to a national poll from Morning Consult commissioned by Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA). The findings suggest that greater education and outreach is needed to support enhanced communication and to raise awareness about patients’ rights associated with the proper and safe use of opioids.

  • March 29, 2018

    Powerful opioids affect many parts of the body, but the drugs’ most deadly effects are on breathing.

  • March 20, 2018

    ROCKVILLE, Md., March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report released by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) highlights the need for advancing self-care in the United States and introduces an agenda to achieve greater awareness of self-care. The report, entitled Empowering Americans to Take Greater Responsibility for Their Health: A Roadmap for Building a National Self-Care Movement in the U.S., calls attention to a rapidly aging population as well as the increasing burden of both minor and chronic illnesses in the U.S. With the nation spending over $3 trillion annually on healthcare and with 80% of Americans expected to have at least one chronic condition by 2030, costing society more than $42 trillion in medical expenditures and losses in productivity, the U.S. health system is in a state of disrepair. This report sheds light on how self-care has the potential to improve individual health and reduce medical costs. 

  • March 16, 2018

    More than one-third of consumers are unaware of the need to safely dispose of unused opioids – one of the key findings from a new national poll from Morning Consult and commissioned by Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA). The findings underscore a significant gap in education and awareness regarding safe and appropriate use of prescription pain medicines and the urgent need for outreach to patients, caregivers and families around proactive steps to take to mitigate the likelihood of misuse before it occurs.

  • March 15, 2018

    Safe Kids Worldwide has released a new report and infographic about storing medication safely. Unintentional medicine poisoning is preventable, especially by parents and caregivers. While people know the importance of keeping medicine up and away and out of sight, not everyone is storing their medication safely. Every 12 days, a child under age six dies of unintentional medicine poisoning in the US.

  • March 14, 2018

    The American Heart Association has launched HF Path, an app designed to help heart failure patients better control their condition by managing symptoms, tracking medications and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  HF Path empowers the user to play an active role in their health management. Learn how to manage your condition by pathing you through 12 different courses that will teach you about symptom tracking, treatment adherence and lifestyle choices. The app is available from the Apple Store, Google Play or on the American Heart Association’s website.  

  • March 13, 2018

    Few older Americans believe ordering more tests and drugs is the way to better health care, a new survey finds. Of the more than 2,000 respondents aged 50 to 80, just 14 percent thought that "more is better," according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging. In fact, 54 percent said they believe that health care providers often recommend tests, medications or procedures that patients don't really need:

    • One in four poll participants said their health care providers often order tests or prescribe drugs that aren't necessary.
    • One in six said this had happened to them in the past year.
    • About half said they'd had the test or filled the prescription.

    However, about 10 percent said their doctor or other health care provider had told them that a test or medication they'd asked for wasn't needed. Most said the provider explained why, but 40 percent didn't completely understand the explanation. The poll was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. It was sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine. "These findings suggest patients and providers need to work together more to prevent overuse of health care services that provide the least value to patients," noted Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren, who designed and analyzed the poll results.  As importantly, more attention needs to be focused on improving communication between patients and doctors.

  • March 9, 2018

    A recent 12-month study compared the use opioid medication and non-opioid medication for the treatment of 240 Veterans Affairs primary care clinic patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain despite analgesic use.  Findings: The two groups did not differ significantly on pain-related function -the primary outcome. Pain intensity was significantly better in the non-opioid group.  Additionally, adverse medication-related symptoms were more common in the opioid group. Researchers’ Conclusion: "Treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with non-opioid medications for improving pain-related function over 12 months. Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain."

  • March 1, 2018

    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.

  • February 20, 2018

    This interactive web-based, four-part program is designed to help clinicians optimize antibiotic use to combat antibiotic resistance and improve healthcare quality and patient safety. This course will include information about antibiotic resistance and threats and a detailed explanation of the benefits of antibiotic stewardship. Objectives include:  Optimize antibiotic prescribing and use to protect patients and combat the threat of antibiotic resistance; inform healthcare professionals about proper antibiotic use;  encourage open discussion among physicians and patients. Open to all clinicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurses, certified health educators, and public health practitioners with an MPH.  Earn 8 hours of free CE.