“In the News” – April 06 – 13, 2007 – Drug- and Pharmacy- Related News
Brought to You by the Pharmacy Library People
“Ritalin under-prescribed, health research says.” was a headline in the print edition of the [Halifax]
Chronicle Herald on April 11th, referring to:
Poulin C. From attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to medical stimulant use to the
diversion of prescribed stimulants to non-medical stimulant use: connecting the dots.
Addiction. 2007 Mar 1; [Epub ahead of print] (Dr. Poulin is affiliated with Dal; her research was conducted
in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces.)
“Misusing vitamin to foil drug test may be toxic: Plus, it doesn’t work.” was a headline in Newswise on
April 11th, referring to:
Mittal MK, Florin T, Perrone J, Delgado JH, Osterhoudt KC. Toxicity from the use of niacin to beat urine
drug screening. Ann Emerg Med. 2007 Apr 4; [Epub ahead of print]
“CDC recommends new drug for ‘superbug’ gonorrhea.” was a headline in the online Globe and Mail on
April 13th, referring to new guidelines published on the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) website. Here are links to the CDC Press Release as well as the guidelines titled Updated
recommended treatment regimens for gonococcal infections and associated conditions - United States, April
2007. (Bottom line: Fluoroquinolones are out; cephalosporins are in!)
- Mandavilli A. News feature: The sunshine cure. Nat Med. 2007 Apr;13(4):396-7. Epub 2007 Mar 28.
(The many and varied therapeutic uses for vitamin D are discussed.)
- Lawrence S. Billion dollar babies-biotech drugs as blockbusters. Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Apr;25(4):380-2.
Epub 2007 Apr 3. (Useful feature: Table 1: “Top ten biotech drugs by US sales”.)
- Berenson A. Pfizer drug for diabetes is lagging. New York Times April 10, 2007. (Exubera® is the first-
marketed inhaled insulin product – available in the U.S. but not in Canada. Inhaled insulin: A “license to
print money” you would think but Exubera® is not anywhere close to meeting Pfizer’s original sales
expectations. An interesting read.)
- Shrank W, Avorn J, Rolon C, Shekelle P. Effect of content and format of prescription drug labels on
readability, understanding, and medication use: A systematic review.
Ann Pharmacother. 2007 Apr 10; [Epub ahead of print]
- New for consumers on the Health Canada website on April 13th: The Safe Use of Health Products for
- “F.D.A. rejects Merck’s New Pain Medication” was a headline in the online New York Times on April
13th, referring to the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee’s vote to reject Merck’s Arcoxia® (etoricoxib)
from being sold in the US. According to the news report “A panel of federal drug advisers voted 20 to 1
Thursday to reject an application by Merck to sell its pain pill Arcoxia because of concerns that the drug
could cause as many as 30,000 heart attacks annually if widely used.” Arcoxia® already is marketed in 63
countries. (Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . ?)
- Yuan G, Al-Shali KZ, Hegele RA. Hypertriglyceridemia: its etiology, effects and treatment. CMAJ 2007
“Rid foods of 'toxic' trans fats, group tells Ottawa: Heart foundation scolds government for lacking a
national strategy to phase out artery-clogging substance.” was a headline in the print edition of the Globe
and Mail on April 6th, referring to a Press Release published on the Heart and Stroke Foundation website on
April 5th that in turn refers to two documents: Task Force on Trans Fat Final Report: TRANSforming the
Food Supply published on Health Canada’s Food and Nutrition website on June 27, 2006, and the City of
Toronto Board of Health report titled The Regulation of Trans Fat in the Canadian Food Supply, published
on March 29th.
- “The mystery of the missing boys: Chemical pollutants flagged in new study as possible factor in skewed
sex ratio.” was a headline in the online Globe and Mail on April 11th, referring to:
Davis DL, Webster P, Stainthorpe H et al. Declines in sex ratio at birth and fetal deaths in Japan and U.S.
whites, but not in African Americans. Environ Health Perspect 2007 Apr 9; [epub ahead of print]
- “Lead paint legacy lurking in homes, report warns: Ottawa falls behind U.S. standards on toxic exposure
in older homes.” was a headline in the online Globe and Mail on April 12th, referring to a report published
jointly by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform and the First Six Years Organization
that is freely accessible on the Internet:
O’Grady K. Paint poisoned homes: An action plan to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Canada by
2020. First Six Years Organization: Toronto, April 2007.
- “’Poorest of the poor’ will be hit hardest: World pressed to act as experts ratchet up warnings of
catastrophic climate change.” was a headline in the print edition of the Globe and Mail on April 7th,
Adger N, Aggarwal P, Agrawala S et al. Climate change 2007: Climate change impacts, adaptation and
vulnerability: Fourth assessment report. Summary for policymakers.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Working Group II: Geneva, April 6, 2007.
- “Study: Discarded batteries pose toxic threat.” was a headline in the online [Halifax] Chronicle Herald
on April 10th, referring to a document recently posted on Environment Canada’s National Office of
Pollution Prevention website titled Canadian consumer battery study – Final Report.
“Canadians too salty, Statscan says.” was a headline in the online Globe and Mail on April 111th, referring
Garriguet D. Sodium consumption at all ages. Health Rep 2007 Apr 10;18(2);47-52.
“Cost sharing reduces statin compliance.” was a headline in Reuters Health on April 13th, referring to:
Schneeweiss S, Patrick AR, Maclure M et al. Adherence to statin therapy under drug cost sharing in
patients with and without acute myocardial infarction. A population-based natural experiment. Circulation.
2007 Apr 9; [Epub ahead of print] (The authors conducted their research in British Columbia.)
“Memory-booster for lab mice may help man: Discovery may lead to drug for Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
was a headline in the print edition of the [Halifax] Chronicle Herald on April 6th, referring to:
Costa-Mattioli M, Gobert D, Stern E et al. eIF2α phosphorylation bidirectionally regulates the switch from
short- to long-term synaptic plasticity and memory. Cell 2007 Apr 7;129(1):195-206.
“Wide gap between vision for e-prescribing and reality in physician practices:
Physicians report major barriers to using advanced e-prescribing feature.” was the title of a News Release
issued by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, DC, on April 3rd. The News Release
refers to a study published in Health Affairs:
Grossman JM, Gerland A, Reed MC, Fahlman C. Physicians' experiences using
commercial e-prescribing systems: Physicians are optimistic about e-prescribing systems
but face barriers to their adoption. Health Affairs 26, no. 3 (2007): w393-w404 [published online 3 April
“Cholesterol drugs help fend off deadly flu.” was a headline in the online [Toronto] Globe and Mail on
April 10th, referring to:
Frost FJ, Petersen H, Tollestrup K, Skipper B. Influenza and COPD mortality protection as pleiotropic,
dose-dependent effects of statins. Chest 2007;131:1006-12 [epub ahead of print]
“Battle of bulge expands: New document urges doctors to measure patients’ waistlines.” was a headline in
the online [Halifax] Chronicle Herald on April 10th, referring to new obesity guidelines published on the
Canadian Medical Association (CMA) website. Published in the April 10th issue of the CMAJ were three
additional documents – a summary to the Guidelines, a synopsis and a commentary:
2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in adults and
children. CMAJ 2007 Apr 10;176(8 suppl):online 1-117.
Lau DC, Douketis JD, Morrison KM et al for members of the Obesity Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines
Expert Panel. 2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in
adults and children [summary]. CMAJ 2007 Apr 10;176(8 suppl):S1-S13.
Lau DC for the Obesity Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee and Expert Panel.
Synopsis of the 2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in
adults and children. CMAJ 2007 Apr 10;176(8):1103-06.
McDonald SD. Management and prevention of obesity in adults and children. CMAJ 2007 Apr
“Cocoa, but not tea, has salubrious effect on blood pressure.” was a headline in Physicians’ First Watch on
April 10th, referring to:
Taubert D, Roesen R, Schömig E. Effect of cocoa and tea intake on blood pressure:
A meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Apr 9;167(7):626-34.
Recent Faculty Publication
Allen M, Sketris I, Ingram EL, Farrell L. Maritime provinces symposium on health technology assessment.
J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2007 Winter;27(1):60-1.