Thursday, February 11, 2016

Michael Cohen

How to prevent yourself from getting the wrong prescription

Thursday, May 16, 2013, 9:35 AM
Occasionally, things go wrong when prescriptions are being prepared at the pharmacy. For example, one person's medicine may be placed into a bag that is labeled with someone else's name. Or a label prepared for a prescription may be mistakenly placed on a bottle containing another person's medicine... Read more

Diluted chemotherapy reaches 1,200 patients in error

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 12:10 PM
Nearly 1,200 patients in Canada received lower doses of their cancer drugs as a result of poor communication between a compounding pharmacy supplier and several hospitals that utilized the service. The drugs were cyclophosphamide and gemcitabine, used as part of a regimen for breast and lung cancer... Read more

Knowing reason for each Rx helps prevent errors

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 6:00 AM
It’s not uncommon for us to hear from consumers who’ve been given the wrong medication at their pharmacy. Sometimes patients can be given incorrect information about a drug they’re taking.  Last week we heard from someone whose father was on multiple medications for blood pressure... Read more

Pharmacies with in-store clinics shouldn’t control which drugs are prescribed

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 9:33 AM
When you think of Walgreens or CVS you probably have a drugstore in mind. But more and more, as people seek easier and less costly access to pressing health care needs than a hospital emergency department, people are visiting chain pharmacy locations for their in-store medical clinics. This is only... Read more

People taking their pet’s medicine?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 5:55 AM
Most people consider their pets as part of the family. But just like you wouldn’t want to take another family member’s medicines by mistake, you don’t want to accidentally take your pet’s medicine either. Who would ever make that mistake? You’d be surprised how often... Read more

Kids can confuse nicotine lozenges as candy mints

Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 7:00 AM
In Chicago last month 16 elementary school children were taken to local hospitals with a sudden illness. The children were 9- and 10-year olds who began vomiting after eating “mints” given to them by a classmate. It was later found that these “mints” were actually nicotine replacement... Read more

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 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
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

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

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
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
letter icon Newsletter