June 2014 Briefing - Pharmacy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for June 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Supreme Court: Some Companies Don't Need to Cover Birth Control

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Family-owned companies don't have to comply with a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires them to offer insurance coverage for contraception if that requirement violates their religious principles, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

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FDA Approves Inhaled Medication Afrezza to Treat Diabetes

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Afrezza (human insulin) Inhalation Powder, a rapid-acting inhaled insulin, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with diabetes. The rapid-acting, inhaled insulin is designed to be used within 20 minutes of beginning a meal, the agency said.

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Opportunity for Reduced Antibiotic Use in Acne Treatment

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Duration of antibiotic use for acne appears to be decreasing; however, nearly one-fifth of courses exceed six months, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Safety, Documentation Issues Common Clinical Trial Concerns

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Failure to protect patient safety and poor record keeping were among the most common violations picked up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the running of clinical trials over a period of seven years, according to a study published online June 25 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Court: Patients Responsible for Outcomes of Risky Behavior

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that patients can be at least partially responsible for their health outcomes resulting from their own unhealthy behavior, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), which supported the physicians in the case.

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Lithium May Protect Against Cartilage Decline in Osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lithium reduces catabolic events in interleukin-1 β (IL-1β)-treated human articular chondrocytes and protects against cartilage degradation in IL-1β-treated mouse knee joints, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Regular Aspirin Use Linked to Drop in Pancreatic Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aspirin use may be associated with a reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online June 26 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Numbing Medications Can Harm Teething Babies, FDA Warns

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Viscous lidocaine and benzocaine-containing teething products should not be used for teething children, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional, according to a new warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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FDA: Acne Products Can Trigger Severe Allergic Reactions

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some popular over-the-counter acne treatments can cause severe irritation or even potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. These topical products contain the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and are marketed under brand names such as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, and Clean & Clear, the FDA said.

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CDC: Flu Vaccine Spray Better Than Shots for Young Children

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Flu vaccination via spray is more effective for young children than injection, a U.S. government panel ruled Wednesday.

Health Highlights: June 26, 2014

Higher Plasma Vitamin D May Cut Hypertension Risk

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who have genetic variants tied to low production of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have an increased risk of hypertension, according to a study published online June 26 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Wikipedia Drug Entries Often Not Up-to-Date

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients frequently turn to digital media for drug information; however, many Wikipedia entries about medications aren't up-to-date and accurate, according to a perspective piece published in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Don't Aid Muscular Injuries

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections do not provide clinical benefit for acute hamstring injuries, according to a correspondence piece published June 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medicaid Backlog May Have Financial Ramifications

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a considerable backlog in Medicaid enrollment applications, which may have financial ramifications on physicians and practices, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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USPSTF Says Evidence Doesn't Support Vitamin D Screening

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Current evidence is insufficient to weigh the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency to improve health outcomes in asymptomatic adults, according to a draft evidence report from the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force.

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Overweight, Obese More Likely to Adhere to Statin Therapy

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with cardiovascular comorbidities, lifestyle factors predict nonadherence to statin therapy, according to research published online June 23 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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CMS Launches Initiative to Assist Newly Insured

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A national initiative has been launched to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage and to offer health providers the tools needed to promote patient engagement, according to a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Sivextro Approved for Adult Acute Bacterial Skin Infections

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antibiotic Sivextro (tedizolid phosphate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with serious-to-severe skin and skin structure infections.

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FDA: Bee Pollen Weight Loss Products Pose Health Risks

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The undeclared ingredients sibutramine and/or phenolphthalein have been found in the following bee pollen weight loss products: Zi Xiu Tang, Ultimate Formula, Fat Zero, Bella Vi Amp'd Up, Insane Amp'd Up, Slim Trim U, Infinity, Perfect Body Solution, Asset Extreme, Asset Extreme Plus, Asset Bold, and Asset Bee Pollen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Complex Electronic Record Safety Issues Surface Long After Launch

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health record-related safety concerns involving both unsafe technology and unsafe use of technology persist long after "go-live," according to a study published online June 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Contraceptive Use

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities exist in contraceptive use, with more prominent disparities among younger women, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Selumetinib Aids Short-Term Outcomes in Uveal Melanoma

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced uveal melanoma, selumetinib treatment is associated with modestly improved progression-free survival and response rates, but no improvement in overall survival compared to chemotherapy, according to a study published June 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Meta-Analysis Confirms Serum 25(OH)D, Mortality Link

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin (25[OH]D) levels are associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, according to a meta-analysis published online June 17 in BMJ.

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Antidepressant Use Doesn't Up Congenital Cardiac Defect Risk

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and other antidepressant use in the first trimester is not associated with increased risk of congenital cardiac defects, according to a study published June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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NCHS: Insurance Coverage Expands, Gaps Remain

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two new U.S. government reports provide a statistical snapshot of health and health insurance coverage in 2013, before new coverage options took effect under the Affordable Care Act.

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Sharp Rise in 'Meth'-Linked ER Visits in U.S.

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of methamphetamine-related visits to U.S. hospital emergency departments jumped from about 68,000 in 2007 to almost 103,000 in 2011, the latest year for which such data is available, a new federal government report finds.

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Teen Suicide Attempts Up Post-Antidepressant Warnings

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Teen suicide attempts rose nearly 22 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about dangers of antidepressants, a new study finds. The report was published June 18 in BMJ online.

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TNF-α Antagonists Exposure Doesn't Up Cancer Risk in IBD

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exposure to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α antagonists is not associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, according to a study published online June 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Glycemic Response to Metformin Differs by Race-Ethnicity

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Race-ethnicity appears to influence the effect of metformin on glycemic control in patients with diabetes, according to research published online June 12 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Tofacitinib Beats Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Tofacitinib is superior to methotrexate in treating rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published June 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lower Blood Pressure Might Not Be Better Once HTN Managed

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with hypertension (HTN), elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) is associated with the highest risk for cardiovascular events, although once SBP is below 140, lowering it below 120 does not further reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study published June 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Preop β-Blockers Don't Improve CABG Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative β-blockers do not improve perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing nonemergent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, according to a study published June 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Hospitalization Rates Vary With Breast Cancer Chemo Regimen

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early-stage breast cancer, hospitalization rates vary with different chemotherapy regimens, according to a study published online May 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Clinical Guidelines Issued for Drug-Induced Liver Injury

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) account for an increasing proportion of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI), according to practice guidelines published online June 17 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Beta-Blocker Therapy Cuts All-Cause Mortality in STEMI

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), beta-blocker therapy at discharge correlates with reduced all-cause mortality, according to a study published in the June issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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ACA May Mean Healthier Young Adults, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A popular provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on a parent's health insurance plan up to age 26 may be good for their health and financial security, a new study suggests. The study was published as a research letter in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Dr. Oz Rebuked at Senate Hearing Into Fake Diet Products

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz was raked over the coals Tuesday at a U.S. Senate hearing into the marketing of fake diet products.

Health Highlights: June 17, 2014

Thrombolytic Tx Cuts Mortality Rate With Pulmonary Embolism

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with pulmonary embolism, thrombolytic therapy is associated with lower rates of all-cause mortality but increased risks of major bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) compared with anticoagulation therapy, according to research published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Clinicians Often Fail to Empathize After Adverse Event

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The health care industry is recognizing the benefits of prompt and transparent physician communication with patients and families about bad outcomes, according to an article published June 10 in Medical Economics.

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U.S. Health Care System Ranked Last Again: Report

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The United States' health system once again comes in last when compared to 10 other rich nations, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund report on the issue.

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Trastuzumab Ups Survival in HER2 Metastatic Breast Cancer

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer, trastuzumab improves overall and progression-free survival, according to a review published online June 12 in The Cochrane Library.

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Researchers Hesitant to Use Social Media to Show Findings

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers remain uncertain about the use of social media to communicate their findings to policy makers, according to research published online June 6 in Health Affairs.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Ups Risk of Preterm Birth

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with likely diagnoses of both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a major depressive episode are at increased risk of preterm birth, according to research published online June 11 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Older Men on Statins Found Less Physically Active

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among older, community-dwelling men, use of statins is associated with modestly lower levels of physical activity, according to research published online June 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Data From EHRs Should Be Used to Improve Patient Care

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The data from electronic health records (EHRs) should be utilized to improve the quality of patient care, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Mortality Risk Up With Addition of Insulin to Metformin

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diabetes receiving metformin, the addition of insulin is associated with an increased risk of a composite of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, or death, compared with addition of a sulfonylurea. These findings were published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on diabetes.

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Brodalumab Effective for Psoriatic Arthritis

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The monoclonal antibody brodalumab significantly improves response rates among patients with psoriatic arthritis, according to a phase 2 study published in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Approves New Nail Fungus Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new topical nail fungus treatment, Jublia, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health Highlights: June 11, 2014

Suboptimal Usage of Proton Pump Inhibitors Common

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), those who receive a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescription from gastroenterologists are more likely to be optimal users and have better symptom control, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Adherence Varies With Race in Pediatric Leukemia Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Compliance with medication for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children varies according to race, according to research published online May 14 in Blood.

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Patient-Rated Mobility in Parkinson's Better With Levodopa

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, patient-rated mobility scores are better for those assigned to levodopa versus levodopa-sparing therapy, according to a study published online June 11 in The Lancet.

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Large Increase in Insulin Use Seen 2000 to 2010

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2000 to 2010 there was a large increase in the use of insulin analogs among privately insured patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a research letter published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on diabetes.

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AMA Calls for Tougher Rules on Sale of E-Cigarettes

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) on Tuesday called for tighter restrictions on the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes.

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Combo Vaccine Raises Risk of Fever-Related Seizures

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One-year-olds who receive Priorix-Tetra -- the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine used in Canada -- are twice as likely to develop a fever-related seizure as children who receive separate MMR and varicella vaccines, according to research published online June 9 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association. The findings are in line with a 2010 study of the MMRV vaccine used in the United States, known as ProQuad.

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Millions Will Not Have to Pay ACA Tax Penalties: Report

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although an estimated 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2016, only four million are expected to pay penalties, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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Cardiac Consequences of Adjuvant Trastuzumab Few

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of cardiac outcomes remains low in long-term follow-up of patients who received adjuvant trastuzumab for early-stage breast cancer, according to a study published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Rotavirus Vaccination Cuts Diarrhea Health Care Utilization

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, diarrhea-related health care utilization and costs have declined in children in the United States, according to research published online June 9 in Pediatrics.

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New Hemophilia Treatment Offers Potential for Fewer Injections

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eloctate, Antihemophilic Factor, Fc Fusion protein, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people with Hemophilia A. It's designed to require less frequent injections than standard therapies used to reduce the frequency of bleeding episodes in people with the disorder, the FDA said in a news release.

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Measles Outbreak ID'd in Undervaccinated Community

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One article describes an outbreak of measles in an undervaccinated community, while a second study examines the impact of vaccination on varicella incidence. Both articles were published online June 9 in Pediatrics.

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Veterans Affected by Scandal May Seek Private Care

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The recent scandal at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may lead to more veteran visits to private physicians and community health centers, according to an article published June 2 in Medical Economics.

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Catholic Group Temporarily Exempt From Contraception Rule

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 200 Catholic organizations and employers -- including archdioceses -- have been granted a temporary exemption from complying with a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Health Highlights: June 6, 2014

Cartilage Injury With Levofloxacin Appears Uncommon

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Levofloxacin exhibits long-term musculoskeletal safety for children, according to a study published online June 2 in Pediatrics.

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Antidepressants Vary in Contribution to Weight Gain

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressants vary in their propensity to contribute to weight gain, according to a study published online June 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Switching Ophthalmologic Drugs Could Save Medicare $

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- By switching preferred therapy for macular degeneration, Medicare can realize substantial cost savings, according to a report published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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High Recurrence Risk With Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of recurrent episodes of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is substantially higher than the risk of a first episode in the general population, according to a research letter published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pot Isn't Harmless, Top U.S. Health Official Says

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- States joining the march toward marijuana legalization need to take a step back and consider the drug's adverse effects on health, the U.S. drug "czar" argues in a new paper.

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Lower Mortality Tied to Azithromycin for Pneumonia

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients hospitalized with pneumonia and treated with azithromycin have lower risk of 90-day mortality, compared to those treated with other antibiotics, according to a study published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many 'Inconsistencies' in ACA Sign-Ups: Report

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new government document finds that more than a quarter of the eight million people who signed up for coverage under the Obama Administration's new health care law have "inconsistencies" in the data they supplied.

Health Highlights: June 5, 2014

Naloxegol Found Effective for Opioid-Induced Constipation

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the oral, peripherally acting µ-opioid receptor antagonist naloxegol is safe and effective for opioid-induced constipation, according to a study published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Agents Found Noninferior to Vancomycin for Skin Infection

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two lipoglycopeptide agents that are active against gram-positive bacteria, dalbavancin and oritavancin, are noninferior to daily vancomycin for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections, according to two studies published in the June 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Policy Impacts Regional Trends of Ezetimibe Use

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Within Canada, regional variation has been noted in ezetimibe use, which is associated with the restrictiveness of publicly-funded drug formularies, according to a study published online June 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Most Physicians Would Forgo Aggressive Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although physicians regularly recommend high-intensity, aggressive, life-prolonging care for their terminally ill patients, the vast majority would choose to forgo such care for themselves at the end of life, according to a study published online May 28 in PLOS ONE.

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Rx Adherence Up for Hispanics Post-Medicare Part D Launch

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics became much more likely to take their heart medicines after Medicare's prescription drug benefit plan was launched in 2006, but there was only a small increase seen among black patients, according to a new study slated for presentation Monday at an American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in Baltimore.

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Quality Up in Patient-Centered Medical Home Care

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care is associated with quality improvements compared to care provided by physicians using paper medical records or electronic health records (EHRs), according to a study published in the June 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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EHRs Can Be Used to Boost Practice Revenue

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practices can achieve return on investment (ROI) for implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems if they participate in alternative delivery models, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Generic Version of Celebrex

MONDAY, June 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave its approval to the first generic version of the pain reliever Celebrex (celecoxib).

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Physician's Briefing