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Michael Cohen

Ten tips for measuring over-the-counter liquid medications safely

Monday, November 12, 2012, 1:19 PM
Over-the-counter liquid medications can be found in practically every medicine cabinet. Surprisingly though, there’s not a standard way to measure liquid medicines doses. All too often we resort to measuring liquids with household measuring devices like teaspoons or tablespoons, but these... Read more

New legislation would help users identify source of a compounded drug

Friday, November 2, 2012, 9:58 AM
By Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. In response to the national outbreak of fungal meningitis, it makes sense for healthcare providers to seriously consider whether they have an ethical and legal obligation to inform end users when they dispense high risk sterile products prepared by a compounding pharmacy... Read more

Pharmacy Behind Meningitis Outbreak, Begins National Recall

Thursday, November 1, 2012, 10:27 AM
By Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. Ameridose LLC, a compounding pharmacy that shares ownership with New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy behind the meningitis outbreak, has begun a national voluntary recall of all products. In a 3:30 p.m. FDA-arranged conference call this afternoon, the Agency... Read more

Over-the-counter eye drop danger

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:15 PM
by Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. Here’s advice about seemingly harmless over-the-counter eye drops, such as Visine and similar products containing the active ingredients tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline. These drugs are quite dangerous if ingested. Severe side effects have been documented... Read more

PA lacks patient protection against sterile compounding errors

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 10:38 AM
By Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. Pennsylvania is one of only 5 states in the US that lacks regulations for compounding pharmacies to follow when preparing and dispensing sterile medications. The state also has no regulations to protect patients when sterile products are prepared by out of state pharmacies... Read more

Meningitis cases spotlight broken system

Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 11:09 AM
by Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. The deadly, multistate meningitis outbreak our country is currently dealing with brings much needed scrutiny to the compounding pharmacy business. The scale of the outbreak makes it the worst among a series of fatal or harmful infections and overdoses linked to compounding... Read more

Are you taking the right amount of water with your medicine?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 11:30 AM
by Michael R. Cohen Do you know how much water or other fluid should be taken with medicines that are swallowed? Our colleagues at ISMP Canada recently tackled this question in their consumer publication, Safe Medicine Use. For some medicines, a small sip may not be enough. The amount and type of... Read more

Safe use of medicines applied to the skin

Thursday, September 27, 2012, 9:55 AM
by Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. Most people wouldn’t think twice about the potential for harm when applying over-the-counter creams, lotions, ointments, sprays or patches to the skin. But a colleague of mine wrote to me this past week to tell me that one of his patients was hospitalized recently... Read more

Identifying medications by storage location is risky

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 12:21 PM
You’d be surprised how many medication errors involve patients identify their medication based on the overall appearance of the container and where it is usually stored, never actually reading the label. Doing that is a set up for errors. A man with diabetes mixed up two different insulin products... Read more

Prescription speed-ups leading to errors

Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 10:52 AM
by Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. Speed should not be a primary determinant when selecting a community pharmacy. But that's exactly what people seem to want most from their pharmacy – to get in and get out fast when they need a prescription filled. As noted in a previous blog, some pharmacy chains... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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