Saturday, May 24, 2014

Patient Safety in the News - May 2014

Kate Thomas, reporting for the New York Times, discussed how Insys Therapeutics, maker of  Subsys, a narcotic pain killer, increased sales by aggressively marketing Subsys to physicians for off-label use. The medication was approved by the FDA for use in cancer patients, but just 1% of prescriptions are now written by oncologists.

Melissa Healy, of the LA Times, reported that the United Nations’ leading expert on food and nutrition declared that the international community must focus and mobilize against unhealthy diets that contribute to the global obesity problem.

Sharon Begley of Reuters discussed a study by biologists Tony Wyss-Coray of Stanford University and Saul Villeda of the University of California San Francisco which revealed that when old mice were transfused blood from young mice, the aging process in the brain was reversed.

Karen Kaplan wrote about a recent study appearing in JAMA that revealed that while 40 years of clinical trials have unequivocally demonstrated that antibiotics do not help patients suffering from acute bronchitis, 70% of patients treated for that condition are still prescribed these drugs. In fact, antibiotic prescriptions for acute bronchitis have increased since 1996, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been trying to stop this practice for the last 15 years.

CBC reported that a study published in the 1970s suggesting that fish oil lowers the risk of heart disease is fatally flawed and its conclusions are based on faulty research.

Dr. Meera Dalal reported that a recent study out of Johns Hopkins University showed no correlation between the consumption of red wine and heart disease, cancer or inflammation.

Peter Eisler, for USA Today reported on the increasing misuse of prescription drugs, including narcotic painkillers by senior citizens.

CBC News reported that the first man in the U.S. diagnosed with MERS was doing well. 

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