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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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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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