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Prescription Drugs

Bill To Revise Medicare QIO System

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last week introduced a bill (S 1947) under which Medicare quality improvement organizations could not conduct investigations of beneficiary complaints about health care providers when they serve as consultants for those providers, The Hill reports (Young, The Hill, 8/8).

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New drug delivery system to minimize side effects

In an advance toward the long-sought ability to deliver medication directly to diseased tissue, while minimizing side effects and damage to healthy parts of the body, scientists are reporting development of a new dosing system that is controlled by light.

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Limited English proficiency, barrier to safe prescription use

An analysis of Milwaukee County pharmacies shows that about half don't provide prescription labels and instructions in languages other than English, and almost two-thirds are unable to communicate to patients who don't speak English. This makes prescription drug safety usage as high priority concern.

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Cognitive impairment link in older adults taking popular stomach acid medications

Long-term use of histamine2 receptor antagonists (H2A), one class of drugs that blocks stomach acid, may be associated with cognitive impairment in older African-American adults. According to an Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the risk for showing signs of cognitive impairment is 2.5 times greater for patients using these medications long-term.

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Class-Action Gender, Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Allowed

U.S. District Court Judge ruled that 19 current and former female employees of the pharmaceutical company Novartis Pharmaceuticals can proceed with a class-action lawsuit.

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Medicare Beneficiaries Cannot Obtain Medications For 'Off-Label' Uses Through Prescription Drug Benefit

Medicare beneficiaries often cannot obtain medications prescribed for "off-label" uses -- such as the treatment of pain, rare diseases and other conditions -- through the prescription drug benefit.

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