Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Press Announcements > FDA launches drug shortages mobile app

Press Announcements > FDA launches drug shortages mobile app.

From the 4 March 2015 announcement

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched the agency’s first mobile application (app) specifically designed to speed public access to valuable information about drug shortages.

The app identifies current drug shortages, resolved shortages and discontinuations of drug products.

Drugs in short supply can delay or deny needed care for patients. Drug shortages may also lead health care professionals to rely on alternative drug products, which may be less effective or associated with higher risks than the drug in shortage.

“The FDA understands that health care professionals and pharmacists need real-time information about drug shortages to make treatment decisions,” said Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Drug Shortage Staff in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The new mobile app is an innovative tool that will offer easier and faster access to important drug shortage information.”

App users can search or browse by a drug’s generic name or active ingredient, and browse by therapeutic category. The app can also be used to report a suspected drug shortage or supply issue to the FDA.

The agency developed the drug shortages app to improve access to information about drug shortages, as part of the FDA’s efforts outlined in the Strategic Plan for Preventing and Mitigating Drug Shortages.

The app is available for free download via iTunes (for Apple devices) and theGoogle Play store (for Android devices) by searching “FDA Drug Shortages.”

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment

MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Concerned about the safety of your drugs or medical advices? Wish to report a serious medical product problem online?
The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) can help.

MedWatch logo

Medwatch is the FDA gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.

Safety Information includes

Medwatch also encourages anyone to report serious problems with human medical products

Want to stay informed with MedWatch updates? Here are some options…

Stay Informed

Track medication safety from your iPhone

Now available for free in the iTunes store!

Stay up to date with the latest news and government safety alerts for the prescription medicines you take. Submit any side effects you experience to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make drugs safer for everyone.

MedWatcher is a mobile tool for both healthcare professionals and the general public.

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two billion men and women in developing countries cannot get essential medicines


Developing countries

Image via Wikipedia Developing Countries

Two billion men and women in developing countries cannot get essential medicines

November 21, 2011 – Two billion men and women in developing countries cannot get essential medicines
Once Every Seven Years World Experts Meet to Discuss Misuse of Medicines in Low- and Middle Income Countries. Eight Indonesian Researchers Attended this Prestigious Meeting.

From the InfoHub Web page

Once Every Seven Years World Experts Meet to Discuss Misuse of Medicines in Low- and Middle Income Countries

  • High medicine costs push 150 million people below the poverty line each year
  • In many low- and middle income countries, one month of life-saving insulin treatment for diabetes may cost half a month’s salary
  • In one Asian country, 42% of medicine costs is spent on bribing the doctors
  • In Oman, misuse of antibiotic use has been reduced by half since 1995
  • Cell phone messages remind East-African AIDS patients to take their medicines

When Catherine Adwoa suddenly fainted and fell ill, her mother first thought she had AIDS. But when she was rushed to the district hospital, she was relieved to hear that that was not the case. The doctor told the 17-year old schoolgirl she had diabetes.

But her father knew immediately that his life would never be the same again. From now on, the daily injections of insulin for his daughter would cost him half his salary. Like in most other African countries medicines for AIDS are free, but treatment for diabetes is not. Hospitals rarely have the injections in stock, so he would have to go around private pharmacies to get the life-saving medicine for the rest of his life, which meant there would be no money left to pay for school fees.

Over 600 world experts on essential medicines met in Antalya, Turkey for the Third International Conference on Improving the Use of Medicines (ICIUM). They heard several similar stories from developing countries from all over the world – how life-saving treatments for malaria are not available in private pharmacies of East Africa; how unscrupulous local manufacturers continue to produce and promote malaria drugs that the World Health Organization has recommended be taken off the market because they lead to resistance; and how 42% of the price of medicines in one Asian country is spent on bribing the doctors.

Delegates from over 80 countries who attended ICIUM also learned that more people in developing countries die from chronic diseases such as hypertension, asthma and diabetes, than from infectious diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis. Unfortunately very few governments do anything about it.

But there was also good news. The medicines for a year of treatment of such chronic diseases cost less than $6 dollars – provided they are bought as generic (off-patent) medicines and provided the local distributor, the pharmacist and the doctor do not add another 10 or 20 dollars to the price. …

…Special attention was given to the needs of the people in countries of the “Arab Spring” with examples of constitutional text from other countries reflecting access to essential medicines as part of human rights….

…The World Health Organization estimates that about one third of the world’s population – around 2 billion people – does not have regular access to essential medicines. …



December 23, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

AMA: New policies that will impact the future of medicine



From the 14 December article at by 

The AMA adopted new policy that, among other things, supports legislation that would require manufacturers of all drugs and biologics to notify the FDA of any discontinuance, interruption or adjustment in the manufacture of a drug that may result in a shortage. The AMA will also advocate for the FDA and/or Congress to require drug manufacturers to establish a plan for continuity of the supply of vital and life-sustaining medications and vaccines to avoid production shortages whenever possible.

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act underway, health insurance exchanges have received significant attention as a new way for millions of Americans to obtain health insurance coverage from private insurers. New AMA policy supports using the open marketplace model for exchanges to increase competition and maximize patient choice. The policy also asks the AMA to advocate for the inclusion of actively practicing physicians and patients in health insurance exchange governing structures and for developing systems that allow for real-time patient eligibility information.

In addition to promoting the open marketplace model for health insurance exchanges, the AMA continued to endorse giving Medicare patients greater choice in seeing the physicians they want and need to see. The AMA reaffirmed support for the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act, which would eliminate current restrictions on private contracting with Medicare patients. New policy calls on the AMA to initiate and sustain a well-funded grassroots campaign to secure passage of the bill in Congress. This legislation ensures that if patients choose to see a physician that is not in the Medicare system they can still receive the benefits they have earned.

AMA delegates also recognized that onerous administrative burdens can divert a physician’s attention away from patient care. New policy calls on the AMA to work vigorously to stop implementation of ICD-10, a new code set for medical diagnoses. Currently, physicians use 14,000 diagnosis codes under ICD-9, but under ICD-10 the number of codes would grow by about 55,000.

Physicians are already working to integrate electronic health records into their offices, and the implementation of ICD-10 will place significant and costly burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to patients. At a time when we are working to get the best possible value for our health care dollars, this massive and expensive undertaking will add administrative expense and create unnecessary workflow disruptions….



Items included


December 15, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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