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Michael Cohen

Keeping dangerous 'toys' away from kids

Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 4:03 PM
Last October the New York Times published a story about a 13-month-old boy who died after swallowing pills from a prescription medicine bottle. His parents had given him the bottle to play with as a rattle, believing he could not open the child-resistant cap. The bottle contained Suboxone, a medicine... Read more

Cell phones and patient safety

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 11:08 AM
Does your doctor telephone prescriptions over a cell phone? We asked pharmacists if they had ever experienced a “case of bad cellular” when receiving telephone orders via cell phones. Over 40 percent responded that they did and all clearly felt that the opportunity for a medication error... Read more

Clear Care contact lens cleaner still burning eyes

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 11:24 AM
It’s been almost two years since a Check Up blog warned about how the popular contact lens cleaning product CLEAR CARE can cause severe eye burning and even eye damage if it’s not used properly. Later, I called attention to the problem and requested action by FDA and the manufacturer, Ciba... Read more

MS drug gets new prescribing precautions

Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 1:25 PM
Fingolimod (Gilenya) is a new kind of immunosuppressant drug that has found a home as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) after failing in clinical trials as a drug to prevent rejection of transplanted kidneys. It provides new benefits – it’s the first disease-modifying drug for MS... Read more

Mom hopes son’s overdose spurs prevention efforts

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 11:20 AM
A heartbreaking case came before us last week when a grieving mother contacted us about the death of her son who died from an accidental drug overdose. It wasn’t something that happened with illicit drugs. Instead, the incident resulting in the death of 2-year old Blake began to unfold, of all... Read more

A recurring vaccine error puts infants at risk

Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 8:31 AM
With hundreds of reports of young children consistently getting the wrong form of a certain vaccine, leaving them vulnerable to the disease, you would think that industry and regulators would gather national experts, take the time to thoroughly examine the problem, and implement prevention measures... Read more

Three drugs, three similar names, some close calls

Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 10:22 AM
Watch out for dispensing mix-ups if you are taking any of the following medications: Ranexa, Prenexa and Pradaxa. These drugs are all prescribed for different reasons although their names can look and/or sound very much alike. We’ve had some close calls reported to us lately through our National... Read more

Some drugs in short supply are trashed unnecessarily

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 10:43 AM
Despite the severe prescription drug shortage that’s been sweeping the nation over the last year, the results of a national survey released last week by my group, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), show that government regulations are forcing pharmacists to discard some injectable... Read more

Time to fix the drug shortage crisis

Monday, March 19, 2012, 11:39 AM
Over the past two years, our country has been dealing with the worst drug shortage situation I have seen in over 40 years of practicing pharmacy. I first wrote about the situation in July 2010, after hearing from colleagues around the country who were having trouble obtaining needed medications. Nearly... Read more

When doctors - not pharmacists - dispense meds

Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 1:13 PM
There’s a bit of a trend in the last few years for more and more doctors to dispense medications directly to patients rather than send them to their pharmacist with prescriptions in hand. A number of companies sell turnkey setups that resemble a mini-pharmacy, with prepackaged medications, office... 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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