FDA alerts providers to potentially contaminated steroid injections   05/24/2013
The Food and Drug Administration today alerted health care providers to adverse reactions associated with steroid injections compounded by Main Street Family Pharmacy of Newbern, TN. FDA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tennessee Board of Pharmacy to investigate reports of seven adverse events from patients who received preservative free methylprednisolone acetate by injection. At least one infection appears to be fungal in nature. “Out of an abundance of caution, the FDA recommends that health care providers not administer any products labeled as sterile from Main Street and quarantine them until further guidance is provided,” the agency said. Health care providers should report adverse events or quality problems experienced with any Main Street products to the FDA’s MedWatch program.
CDC ads to urge smokers to talk with their doctor about quitting   05/24/2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has partnered with physician groups to help smokers quit as part of its ongoing advertising campaign “Tips From Former Smokers.” Beginning Monday, some of the television ads will encourage smokers to talk with their doctor for help quitting. “We hope doctors will offer evidence-based counseling and medications to all patients who can benefit from them," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D. According to CDC, almost 70% of smokers say they want to quit, and a doctor’s advice and assistance more than doubles the odds that they will. For more on the campaign, including resources for health care providers, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.
FDA approves first A1c test labeled for diagnosing diabetes   05/24/2013
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced the first A1c test labeled for diagnosing diabetes. Other A1c tests are FDA-cleared for monitoring blood glucose control, but are not specifically designed or approved for diabetes diagnosis, making it difficult to know their accuracy for this purpose, FDA said. The new test can be used to both accurately diagnose diabetes and monitor blood glucose control.
Agencies report action to improve veterans' access to mental health care   05/24/2013
The departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Health and Human Services this week released an interim report on progress to expand veterans’ access to mental health services, as called for in an executive order last year. Actions to date include developing a national suicide prevention campaign to connect veterans and service members to mental health services; establishing 15 VA agreements with local clinics to improve access to mental health services; hiring 1,360 mental health clinical providers; and developing a National Research Action Plan for post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and co-occurring conditions.