Monday, April 27, 2015

Michael Cohen

Medicine missteps

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 9:00 AM
When it comes to medicines, you may already know how essential it is to exactly follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on over-the-counter (OTC) Drug Facts labels. But you may be overlooking some habits or beliefs that can keep you from getting the full benefit of your medicines... Read more

Designer pain creams - profitable for compounding pharmacies but risky for patients and children

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:30 AM
Certain pharmacies, known as compounding pharmacies, can mix different ingredients together to produce a patient-specific product. For example, they can prepare a special formulation of a needed medication that replaces an ingredient in a commercially available product to which the patient is allergic... Read more

Pharmacy automatic prescription refills can contribute to medication errors and waste

Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 10:26 AM
When you have a prescription filled regularly for a chronic condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, chances are your pharmacy will ask you to opt in for a service that allows them to automatically refill the prescription before your medication runs out. Once you agree, you will be notified... Read more

Demonstration IV solutions administered to patients

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 6:23 PM
Back on December 30th, FDA alerted health professionals about a patient who became ill after receiving an IV solution meant for training purposes only. Educators often utilize training products for simulations with students and want these items to look like the real solutions. However, there have been... Read more

For generic Vicodin price, less is more – a lot more $$

Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 11:34 AM
There’s been a lot said recently about generic drug pricing and sticker shock, but the following probably takes the cake. If doctors aren’t careful with prescriptions, patients and insurers can wind up paying exorbitant amounts - unnecessarily. As most readers are aware, a pain medication... Read more

Understanding the meaning of expiration dates on drug labels

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 11:50 AM
Drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. On over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, the expiration date is often printed on the label or carton under "EXP" or stamped without ink into the bottom of a bottle, carton, or the crimp of a tube. But what does the expiration... Read more

Insulin pen users: dial-up then push button

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 8:39 AM
If you have diabetes and take insulin using an insulin pen, you may be one of many who are not using the pen correctly. Many insulin pens have a dial on one end of the pen to “dial-up the dose” (Figure 1, top). That same end has a button that needs to be pushed so the dose can be delivered... Read more

Ticking sound with epinephrine autoinjector is normal

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 9:21 AM
Epinephrine is a medication that’s important to have on hand if you or a loved one has severe allergies to a particular substance like certain medications, bee stings, etc. The good news is the drug can be prescribed by your doctor as an autoinjector that can be carried on the person at all times... Read more

Ongoing issues that can obstruct safety at the drugstore

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 9:43 AM
When a pharmacist dispenses a medication, especially a new one, it’s important to assure the patient has all the information they need to use the medication safely. For this reason, state boards of pharmacy in NJ, PA and DE have regulations on the books that require pharmacists to educate or... Read more

Chantix (varenicline), thoughts of suicide/self-injury and homicide

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 11:41 AM
FDA is moving the smoking cessation drug Chantix into the drug safety spotlight tomorrow. The agency has scheduled a joint public meeting of two advisory committees to review the current Boxed Warning and Medication Guide. Some history: In 2008, my organization, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

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
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
Latest Health Videos
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected