Tracey Walker, Contributing Editor
Health insurance status may determine trauma center care
Patients with severe injuries initially evaluated at non-trauma center emergency departments are less likely to be transferred to a trauma center if they have insurance, according to study published online ahead of print in JAMA Surgery.
Opioid prescribing by multiple providers drives up patient hospitalization rate
More than 30% of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who receive opioid prescriptions are prescribed them from multiple providers, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. This practice, which goes against recommended guidelines of a single provider prescribing opioids for a patient, was found to be associated with higher rates of opioid-related hospitalization.
Surprising rate of opioid use seen among pregnant women
More than 14% of pregnant women were prescribed opioids for pain at some time during their pregnancy, according to a study published online in Anesthesiology. Given the surprising rate these medications were prescribed to pregnant women, more research is needed to assess the risk of opioids to unborn babies, the study suggests.
30-day hospital readmission rates vary after inpatient rehab
Nearly 12% of Medicare patients who receive inpatient rehabilitation following discharge from acute-care hospitalization are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after discharge from the rehabilitation facility, according to a study in the Feb. 12 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association."
Statewide initiative creates new standards for compounding kids’ liquid medicine
Michigan will be the first state to standardize concentrations for children’s liquid prescriptions, due to a statewide initiative to reduce pediatric medication errors.
NIH partners with industry to find best biological targets of disease
The National Institutes of Health, FDA, 10 biopharmaceutical companies, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and several nonprofit organizations have launched an unprecedented public/private partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.
Dabigatran lawsuits at 2,000 and rising
Boehringer Ingelheim is facing lawsuits in the United States over claims that Pradaxa, a blood-thinner used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, causes severe and fatal bleeding.
FDA approves single-agent treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia
FDA expanded the approved use of ibrutinib (Imbruvica, Pharmacyclics and Janssen Biotech) as a single agent, oral kinase inhibitor for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who have received at least one previous therapy.
Naproxen CV safety evidence not conclusive enough to warrant label change
After examining the latest research on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—specifically whether naproxen carries lower cardiovascular (CV) risks than ibuprofen—an FDA panel has voted down the CV safety claim for naproxen.
Lower-statin combo therapy good option for some heart patients
Among patients with high ASCVD risk, lower-intensity statin plus a bile acid sequestrant or ezetimibe lowered LDL cholesterol as well as higher-intensity statin mono therapy did.

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