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Michael Cohen

Simple packaging change can reduce Rx drug diversion

Monday, February 25, 2013, 9:56 AM
We get a lot of complaints from consumers who tell us their pharmacy shorted them on the number of tablets or capsules they were supposed to get when they had their prescription filled. A report we got last week is typical. A young patient who had dental surgery received a prescription for the opral... Read more

Vaccine information when you need it

Monday, February 18, 2013, 10:18 AM
Vaccineinformation.org is the most comprehensive offering I’ve seen for patients and families interested in getting accurate, scientific, up-to-date information about immunizations. It’s like a one-stop shop for learning about diseases and how they can be prevented by vaccination. The... Read more

Hospitals asked to rethink use of insulin pens

Friday, February 8, 2013, 9:00 AM
A big issue that a couple of New York hospitals have been dealing with is notifying patients that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C through the improper sharing of insulin pens. It was announced early this year that over 700 patients at a Buffalo, New York Veterans Affairs... Read more

Will health insurance cover overactive bladder drug for men but not women?

Monday, February 4, 2013, 10:49 AM
By Michael R. Cohen Late last month the FDA approved a new drug called Oxytrol for Women - the first over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder (OAB) in women ages 18 years and older. OAB symptoms include leaking urine (urinary incontinence), having a sudden and urgent need to urinate, and... Read more

Should doctors and patients be informed when high-risk pharmacy compounded products are used?

Friday, January 25, 2013, 9:34 AM
The fungal meningitis outbreak that’s been gripping the country since last fall has now affected 678 patients and caused 44 deaths. Contaminated steroid injections tied to the outbreak have led to a wake-up call about a dangerous gap in regulatory oversight of compounding pharmacies that mix... Read more

10 over-the-counter medicines abused by teens

Monday, January 14, 2013, 9:54 AM
Is your medicine cabinet a source for a teen’s legal “high?” Because a doctor’s prescription is not needed, many mistakenly believe that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are safer than prescription medicines and illegal street drugs. They are in fact safe and effective when... Read more

These drug names are too close for comfort

Monday, January 7, 2013, 1:52 PM
Look-alike and sound-alike similarity between the names of two different medications used in epilepsy might be putting children in jeopardy of getting the wrong medication. The drugs are clobazam and clonazepam. Children with a rare and severe form of childhood onset epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut... Read more

Overdose risk with baby’s vitamin D drops

Wednesday, January 2, 2013, 4:38 PM
For newborns and older infants who are breastfed or partially breast fed, vitamin D is essential for babies to absorb calcium and build strong bones and teeth. A mother’s milk doesn’t provide enough by itself. So the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every breast fed baby receive... Read more

2012's top 10 drug safety stories

Monday, December 24, 2012, 4:45 AM
By Michael R. Cohen In my entire career at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the meningitis outbreak was the worst safety disaster that I have ever seen, making 2012 a watershed year in drug safety stories. So without further adieu, the following are this year’s top 10 worst cases... Read more

Don’t let “Low T” lead to harm in kids

Monday, December 17, 2012, 1:15 PM
By Mike Cohen Could it be “Low T?” By now you’ve probably heard this line or otherwise seen a multitude of TV or newspaper ads for testosterone gel products. Increasingly, drug manufacturers have been tapping into this billion dollar market aimed at men over 40, which is when men... 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 Inquirer.com. 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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