Archive for the ‘Drug Safety’ Category

Don’t Forget to Take Your Medication

Posted by on June 12th, 2017

Lots of people take medication regularly. About a third or more take multiple medications throughout the day. For those who take multiple medications during the day trying to remember what medication to take at what time and how much can get confusing. It’s important for your peace of mind, and that of your family and physician, that you keep an up-to-date list of the medications you take, the frequency you take them, and how much you take. This information may be vital if there is ever a medical emergency. But it’s also important for you. In our modern, on demand, culture it can be easy to forget things as small and routine as medicine. Forgetting to take medication happens, but it can have far reaching negative consequences.

To avoid those consequences there are a few strategies you can employ.

  • Keep a list of medications in a handy place.
  • Keep weekly calendars showing what medications to take at a particular time. Make a note what should be taken with food and without.
  • If a more physical reminder is better for you, there are a variety of pill organizers on the market. These let you separate your medications by the day. Canada Drugs sells these types of organizers.
  • Set auditory reminders like alarms or beepers. Setting an alarm on a cellphone can be a good reminder when it’s time to take your medication.

We have a lot of experience talking to people who take multiple medications. Often we find that even spouses aren’t necessarily aware of the medications their significant other takes. That can be a problem should an emergency come up. At minimum, keep a list of your current medications somewhere accessible. It can be as simple as tacking it on the inside of the cabinet door where you keep your drugs. Whatever you choose to do, it has to work for you. Prescription non-adherence is a big medical issue. Billions of dollars are spent each year on emergency room and hospitalizations because people do not take their medication as prescribed. If you find yourself accidentally missing doses on occasion be proactive and take steps to ensure you don’t become one of those statistics.

Product Alert – Herbal Products With No Herbs

Posted by on February 11th, 2015

In a shocking investigation, the New York state attorney general’s office has found conclusive evidence that many herbal products on the shelves of GNS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Target contain NONE of the ingredient promised on the label. In one sample test batch, 24 products were analyzed, with ONLY 5 of the products containing the herbs or product advertised. All others had unrecognizable plant matter not matching the listed ingredients.

Even more shocking “Additionally, five of the 24 contained wheat and two contained beans without identifying them on the labels — both substances are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.” So not only do the products (sold with high profit margins) not contain any of the main ingredient listed on the packaging, but they also contain potential dangerous allergens that could cause serious health effects in people with sensitivities to beans and wheat.

All of the companies listed above have received cease-and-desist letters.

This goes well beyond a case of buyer beware. This incident is just the tip of the iceberg in showcasing the unfortunately lax regulations regarding the production and sales of “herbal” products that are not classified as medicine.

We would urge people who have been using these products to talk to their doctors about alternative products and to share any side effects from taking these medications that may have been caused if you are known to have an allergy to beans or wheat.

Be safe. Be well. Be careful.

The original article disclosing more details on the investigation and case can be viewed here:

FDA Issues Third Strike To Ranbaxy Laboratories

Posted by on October 9th, 2013

india2This September a third Ranbaxy Laboratories manufacturing facility in India was issued an import alert over quality concerns by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With this latest action taken by the FDA, the final Ranbaxy plant in India dedicated to the US market was banned from importing product into the US. The other two plants dedicated to the US market, owned and operated by Ranbaxy in India were hit with the same import bans in 2008 and are still barred from importing product to the US. The FDA imposed an import ban on the Mohali factory, saying the plant had not met compliance with US drug manufacturing requirements, known as current good manufacturing practices.

With the FDA finding more facilities in India not meeting compliance with the current good manufacturing practices, it reinforces the importance of our introduction of the 10 Star Commitment (only first world medicines). This was a big change to how Canada Drugs served you, but this bold step to put safety ahead of profits was a change that we were proud to make and stand behind 100%.

The 10 Star Commitment means our patients have access to the very best brand and generic medication from within the regulated supply chains of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. There are no compromises and no shortcuts; the safety and quality of medications is an absolute that we will always look out for.

A newly published article by the respected pharmaceutical industry analyst Roger Bate, highlights how medications even produced by supposedly the “best” companies in India, and done so under the World Health Organization standards, results in up to 20% of the product being unsafe, without its required potency or in some other way deficient. We simply don’t think that’s acceptable. To us, paying a few more dollars to source our products exclusively from first world countries AND STILL delivering savings of up to 60% is the right model.

As Canada Drugs is a global company some product lines will come and go, but our mission will never change. We will always maximize savings on available medications to all of our patients. If you have any questions or concerns, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or call us directly at 1-800-226-3784.

Rising Temperatures Risk Your Prescription Safety: Be Safe When Traveling With Medication

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Last week marked the first official day of summer, and for many this time of year is when we look forward to hitting the cabin, camping or going on a road trip to a vacation destination. For those of us that also travel with our prescription medication, it’s good to be aware of how to be smart about traveling and protecting that medication from the rising summer heat.

Temperatures can really affect how a prescription drug works; you need to be aware that storage at high temperatures can quickly degrade the potency and stability of many medications. No drug should be exposed to temperatures higher than 86 degrees. It is recommend most of their products be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees, but in general short time periods of exposure to temperatures that range from 58 to 86 degrees fall within the guidelines outlined by most manufactures of the medication.

That 86 degree level can easily be exceeded on a hot day if left out at a cabin, or in the trunk on a long car ride. Always store medication in a cool dry place because humidity can also damage medication, and especially diabetic test strips can give false reading if exposed to moisture. Despite the name, the medicine cabinet is often the worst place to store drugs because of the frequent high humidity in the bathroom. Keep medicines in a cool, dry place, and out of the sun. If traveling or camping, don’t store your medication or leave it in a sweltering car and try to make sure your tent or trailer camper is in the shade if you are storing medication at your campsite.

A special note about insulin and other refrigerated products: It can easily degrade if it is frozen or too hot. Unopened bottles of insulin are best kept in the refrigerator. Open bottles, however, can be kept at room temperature, which also makes injections more comfortable.

During summer, if you take prescription medications, pay particular attention to any unusual symptoms that may suggest your medication isn’t working properly. These sorts of symptoms may be a sign that your medication has lost potency due to heat. Your first contact person should always be your pharmacist. Contact through our “Ask a Pharmacist” if you feel your drugs have been exposed to extreme temperatures. They are a good resource for what your next steps should be. Never take any medication that has changed color or consistency, regardless of the expiration date. Check also for an unusual odor. Discard pills that stick together, are chipped or are harder or softer than normal.

Enjoy the summer, and enjoy the sun and heat too, but be smart about how you travel with medications. A few precautions can guarantee that you won’t have to worry about temperature or humidity damage when you leave home this summer with your pills.

Study finds high rate of “Off-Label” use of Prescription Drugs

Posted by on April 25th, 2012

A Canadian study published this week reported that more than 10 percent of prescriptions being written were for drugs that were not approved to treat that patient’s condition. For the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers examined more than 250,000 electronic prescriptions for more than 50,000 patients written from 2005 through 2009 by 113 doctors in a primary care network in Canada and found that about 11 percent of the medications were prescribed for off-label use, and 79 percent of off-label use lacked strong scientific evidence. Previous studies of American patients found slightly lower levels of off-label use, but the study’s authors believe the overall rate of off-label use of prescription drugs in the U.S would mirror the Canadian results.

Off-label prescribing is when a physician gives you a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition that is different than yours. This practice is legal and common. In fact, one out of every five prescriptions written today is for off-label use.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggest that you talk with your doctor if you have concerns about any medicine or treatment, particularly if it may be off label. They suggest that before you go off-label that you ask these questions:

  • Is this the approved use of the medicine? You may not know if the use is off label. This question can help you start the conversation with your doctor about your medicines.
  • Is the off-label use of this drug likely to be more effective than one approved to treat my illness? This is important because the off-label drug may not be as well tested for your condition.
  • What evidence shows that this off-label drug can treat my condition?
  • What are the risks and benefits of off-label treatment with this drug?
  • Will my health insurance cover off-label treatment with this drug?

Consumer Reports also suggests that that while many times that going off-label can be beneficial when done in close conjunction with your doctors treatment recommendations, that consumers should also be wary because of the potential for abuse and paying for costly drugs that may not be needed. Greater promotion of off-label drug uses could have patients reaching deeper into their pockets to cover prescription costs. Health insurance companies closely scrutinize drugs that are used off-label and may result in greater out-of-pocket costs if the insurance does not cover your doctor’s prescriptions.

Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy, can be a source of savings when health insurance won’t cover a doctors off-label prescription recommendation. With direct cash savings of 20%-80% off the U.S retail cost, we offer savings on many of the most common drugs that are prescribed for off-label use. Our pharmacists in consultation with your doctor can help advise you of your options, and help you make an educated healthcare decision when prescribed a medication for off-label use.