We hear in the media of mistakes made in hospitals including errors in administering medication. A new study shows that a child is improperly medicated at home every eight minutes. The study published by the journal Pediatrics is based on data from the National Poison Database System between the years of 2002 and 2012. The statistics don’t reflect the real scope of the problem since not everyone reports an error to poison control or may even be aware they made a mistake.

In the 10-year time period, 696,937 children younger than 6 years old experienced out-of-hospital medication errors. The most common error was double-dosing, or inadvertently giving a child the same medicine twice. The data also suggests that errors are more likely to occur with younger children, in part because older children can tell someone they’ve already taken their dose. Other common mistakes are caused by confusion with units of measure or administering the wrong medicine. Over 93% of medication errors could be managed without going to a healthcare facility. Unfortunately, 25 children died from out-of-hospital medication errors, a majority of which

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Over 2 million Americans suffer from epilepsy, with about 1 in 26 developing epilepsy in their lifetime. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system causing seizures, and is the fourth most common neurological disorder affecting people of all ages. It is also commonly referred to as a seizure disorder. Epilepsy is different for everyone, as there are many different types of seizures. “A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition… The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown.”

There are a number of treatments available for epilepsy. The primary way epilepsy is controlled is through medication, with about 7 out of 10 patients taking medications for treatment. Medication doesn’t actually solve the problems that cause seizures, instead focusing on

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Most of us have heard of clinical trials, but many are unclear as to what they are and how to find them. When it comes to creating life-changing drugs and innovative new therapies, medical research is critical. And being so actively engaged in your own health care can grant you access to the most ground-breaking treatment options available. It also allows you to interact with leading medical experts from some of the most preeminent medical facilities in the country.

Additionally, participating in a clinical trial helps the medical community better understand worldwide health concerns. In turn, new and effective treatment options can be explored and developed. Volunteering in this way can be rewarding on many levels.

What exactly is a clinical trial?

Clinical research studies are designed to improve human health and well-being by exploring new medical treatments, preventions, diagnostics and medications. Evaluating the safety and efficacy of new approaches is what drives clinical trials, and also what propels advancements in global health.

Clinical trials fall into one of four categories:

Phase I studies assess the safety

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Past blogs have discussed various ways to save on medication costs – pharmaceutical patient assistance programs, drug discount coupons, drug discount card, etc. Let me tell you about another way you may be able to cut your medication costs.

At NeedyMeds we receive calls from people who can’t afford their medications. Most are taking just a few drugs, but a significant number are taking 10 or more drugs – sometimes 20 or more drugs. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 82% of American adults take at least one medication and 29% take five or more medications.

Why are so many people taking so many medicines? In some cases the person has multiple diseases, all requiring their own medications. But sometimes not all the medicines are no longer needed. Here are a few reasons why this may occur:

Step Therapy

This is an approach used to treat many diseases. Let’s say your doctor discovers you have high blood pressure – hypertension. Your doctor would take a stepped approach to treatment. First, she would address lifestyle issues such as weight control, tobacco use, exercise, etc.

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We’ve been getting a lot of questions from our readers about how the resources we list on our website, especially the pharmaceutical patient assistance programs, will be affected by the Affordable Care Act. While we are still far away from having all the answers, we do have some additional information we can provide you after attending a recent PAP Conference. The overarching consensus is that PAPs will continue to exist to help those in need that fall into the gaps.  Here is an overview of what we learned at the CBI PAP 2014 Conference, held in Baltimore on March 6-7.

Background

→ There are currently no shared processes between programs.

→ Open Enrollment ends March 31st

  • Negative image of Affordable Care Act in the media.
  • For those working with the disabled – visit the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative for resources http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org.
  • Many advocates are having trouble enrolling the population that has been uninsured for a long time, as they are not informed about how health insurance works at all.

→ Medicaid Donut Hole

  • In the states that have not expanded Medicaid, there are going to be folks too poor to be eligible for subsidies under the marketplace and not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in their states.

→ Not everyone between 100% and 400% of Federal Poverty Level are eligible for subsidies. This, for example, can depend on age.

Pharma Priorities and Considerations

→ Priorities are to contain costs, increase quality, encourage innovation while enhancing patient access.

→ Legal Considerations.

  • Anti-kickback statute – always a legal issue for companies. Pharmaceutical companies cannot induce (or even appear to induce) patients to use a certain drug.
  • November 2013
    • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter saying that plans purchased on a state or federally run market place are not counted as government sponsored programs.
    • Absent further guidance – these plans are going to be treated as private plans by Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), foundations, etc.

    → Lingering question – what happens when someone doesn’t pay or defaults on their premium? There is currently a grace period to

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