The Key To Reducing Side Effects May Be As Easy As Giving Patients A Choice
A study finds that when patients are able to choose between two medications that do the same thing, they report fewer side effects than those prescribed a single drug. In other news, even though the U.S. gave the industry a boost to develop innovative antibiotics in 2012, many companies are just making slight adjustments to old formulas, and health professionals warn about the dangers for heart patients of mixing drugs.
The Wall Street Journal:
Giving Patients Some Choice May Boost Drugs’ Effectiveness
Allowing patients to choose among different medications that do the same thing may increase the effectiveness of the selected drug and reduce possible side effects, according to a study in Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Participants who got to pick between two different formulations of a medication reported significantly fewer side effects after 24 hours compared with those not allowed to choose, the study found. The subjects weren’t aware that the drugs were harmless placebos. (Lukits, 7/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Can The Government Encourage The Development Of New Antibiotics?
It's been nearly 30 years since scientists have found a new class of antibiotics. But U.S. lawmakers tried to give the drug industry a boost in 2012. That year, they passed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. It included provisions — collectively known as Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now, or GAIN — aimed at streamlining the government approval process for new antibiotics. It also boosted financial paybacks to drug companies that develop them. The law has spurred the introduction of several new medicines. But none so far represents a new class of antibiotic or treats a drug-resistant strain for which effective medicine does not already exist. (Healy, 7/11)
Kaiser Health News:
Heart Failure Patients Warned About The Dangers Of Mixing Prescriptions
[Mike] O’Meara has been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney problems and heart failure. He depends on 16 medicines -- 26 pills a day -- to manage his health. Taking a variety of pills is not unusual for older patients, but the American Heart Association Monday warned heart failure patients and their doctors that they need to monitor the variety of drugs because of the possibility of unintended consequences. In the journal Circulation, the American Heart Association said heart failure patients take an average of nearly seven prescription medicines a day and 40 percent of Medicare patients with heart failure also have five or more other chronic diseases. (Heredia Rodriguez, 7/12)