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Disclaimer: CSHP e-Newsbrief is a weekly listing featuring the latest news of interest to hospital pharmacists, selected from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiView. CSHP personnel approve the final summaries; any comments regarding content of this publication should be emailed to CSHP. It should not be understood or implied from the presence of advertisements that CSHP endorses any products or services advertised. MultiView and CSHP are not liable for any delays or inaccuracies in the information contained in this brief, nor for any actions taken or outcomes resulting from relying on the information provided herein.



In this issue:

Health Canada to post drug safety online
Study: Patients using natural health products with prescription drugs increase risk of unwanted side effects
Tamiflu's effectiveness in cutting hospitalizations questioned
P.E.I: Pharmacists to be allowed to administer flu vaccine
Study finds pharmacist-patient telephone consultations appear to reduce hospitalizations
Ontario improving care for chronic pain sufferers
Winnipeg docs, staff, break rules for writing prescriptions
Viagra users twice as likely to have deadly skin cancer
Hypertension, stroke associated with high-sodium drugs
Sudbury hospital at cutting edge with virtual doctoring
Star obtains list of red-flagged drugs
Can 'caffeitine' treat Parkinson's?
Drug ups survival in H1N1 mice




Health Canada to post drug safety info online
Calgary Herald
Health Canada has begun posting summaries of drug safety reviews on its website. It aims to better inform the public about potential harms associated with certain medications — starting with the controversial acne remedy Diane-35. Health Canada conducts a review of a drug when a safety issue is red-flagged to the department, said Dr. Supriya Sharma, a senior medical adviser at Health Canada.
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Study: Patients using natural health products with prescription drugs increase risk of unwanted side effects
National Post
The many Canadians who take natural health products as well as prescription drugs are six times as likely to suffer unwanted side effects as those just using drugs, suggests a new study that underscores the risks of an increasingly popular approach to health care. The "adverse events" among people ingesting both types of medicines ranged from severe bruising to the cardiac arrest of an eight-year-old girl.
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Tamiflu's effectiveness in cutting hospitalizations questioned
CBC News
Two antiviral drugs have mediocre effects on relieving flu symptoms, according to a review by independent experts that raises questions about the value of medications stockpiled by Canadian authorities in case of a flu pandemic. Federal and provincial governments have stored and refreshed their supplies of antivirals, mainly oseltamivir (often known by its brand name Tamiflu), as part of their emergency plans for a possible pandemic of bird flu, such as H5N1 back in 2004. The
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P.E.I: Pharmacists to be allowed to administer flu vaccine
The Journal Pioneer
The executive director of the Prince Edward Island Pharmacists Association, Erin MacKenzie, estimates two-thirds of the pharmacists in this province are already certified to administer the flu vaccine. They’ve been upgrading their training while waiting for the P.E.I. government to respond to their lobby effort.
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Study finds pharmacist-patient telephone consultations appear to reduce hospitalizations
News-Medical.Net
Having a pharmacist call patients at home to go over their medications can identify many medication-based problems. However, a new study in Health Services Research found that pharmacist-patient telephone consultations only appear to reduce hospitalizations in patients who are least at risk.
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Ontario improving care for chronic pain sufferers
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Chronic pain is a serious condition affecting one in five Ontarians. It causes moderate to severe frequent pain, sometimes on a daily basis. It is a condition where pain persists beyond the expected healing time of a condition or problem and may require ongoing management. Ontario is taking many steps to ensure people who suffer from chronic pain receive the care and treatment they need through.
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Winnipeg docs, staff, break rules for writing prescriptions
CBC News
When it comes to using medications safely in Winnipeg hospitals, caregivers don't always follow the rules intended to prevent errors. A study in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority found that just over half of hospital staff surveyed said they had seen or used medication orders that were unclear or illegible.
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Viagra users twice as likely to have deadly skin cancer
Medical Daily
Men's bedroom woes are often treated with the blue pill that improves the sex lives of millions across the world. Although erectile dysfunction treatment has successfully helped both men and their partners turn up the heat in between the sheets, the impotence drug could be deadly for men. According to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Viagra users are twice as likely to develop deadly skin cancer — melanoma.
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Health Canada to post drug safety info online
Calgary Herald
Health Canada has begun posting summaries of drug safety reviews on its website. It aims to better inform the public about potential harms associated with certain medications — starting with the controversial acne remedy Diane-35. Health Canada conducts a review of a drug when a safety issue is red-flagged to the department, said Dr. Supriya Sharma, a senior medical adviser at Health Canada.

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Think twice about tests, doctors urged
The Leader-Post
The nation's doctors have compiled a list of questionable or worthless tests and procedures, in every specialty of medicine, that offer little benefit, and possible harm, including X-rays for lower back pain or CT scans for uncomplicated headaches. The Choosing Wisely Canada campaign targets tests and interventions that are often a waste of money and don't help patients recover sooner.

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Ontario committee report: Medbuy to blame for diluted chemo drugs error
CTV News
National group purchasing organization Medbuy is ultimately responsible for 1,202 cancer patients in Ontario and New Brunswick receiving diluted chemotherapy drugs in 2012, an Ontario legislative committee has concluded. The company didn't do its due diligence in arranging a $2.6 million contract with Marchese Health Care, which provided the diluted drug mixtures, the all-party committee said in a recent report.

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Hypertension, stroke associated with high-sodium drugs
Pharmacy Practice News
Drugs that contain high levels of sodium, such as dissolvable "fizzy tablets," are associated with increased risks for hypertension, stroke and overall mortality, according to a new study by British researchers. The increased sodium is doing what is biologically plausible — increasing your stroke risk," said Thomas MacDonald, MB, ChB, a professor of clinical pharmacology and pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, and an author of the study.
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Sudbury hospital at cutting edge with virtual doctoring
The Sudbury Star
A ground-breaking program through Health Sciences North will soon enable patients and family physicians in smaller centres to access critical-care expertise via videoconferencing technology. The Virtual Critical Care project, run jointly by HSN and the North East Local Health Integration Network, will launch in late May with remote consultations made available to hospitals in Elliot Lake, Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Government announces new steps to help medical community with marijuana for medical purposes (Government of Canada)
Study finds 1 in 3 prescriptions unfilled, some for chronic conditions (Ottawa Citizen)
Canada Health Accord expires, prompting protest, uncertainty (CBC News)
Toronto hospital courts wealthy 'medical tourists' (The Globe and Mail)
Ketamine can treat severe depression (Drug Discovery & Development Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Star obtains list of red-flagged drugs
Toronto Star
Top-selling antidepressants, sleep aids and diabetes drugs are among 151 secret safety reviews of medications completed by Health Canada last year, the Toronto Star has learned. The Star obtained a list of last year's federal drug reviews that likely won't see the light of day despite Ottawa's new commitment to transparency. It took repeated requests made over five months to access the index. No public record of this work has existed until now.
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Can 'caffeitine' treat Parkinson's?
The StarPhoenix
University of Saskatchewan professor Jeremy Lee, an expert on proteins, has found a "promising lead" to a drug that could prevent the progression of Parkinson's - the combination of caffeine and nicotine. But it's not as simple as just drowning yourself in coffee and smoking a pack a day. Here's why:
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Drug ups survival in H1N1 mice
Drug Discovery & Development
Flu epidemics cause up to half a million deaths worldwide each year, and emerging strains continually threaten to spread to humans and cause even deadlier pandemics. A study by McGill University Professor Maziar Divangahi published by Cell Press in the journal Immunity reveals that a drug that inhibits a molecule called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) increases survival rates in mice infected with a lethal dose of the H1N1 flu virus.
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CSHP e-Newsbrief

Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, MultiView 289.695.5422
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Siobhan Cole, Senior Content Editor, MultiView 289.695.5423   
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