Healthcare updates, 21 January



WHAT’S HI-TECH?

Medscape’s FREE app for iPad™
The latest must-have iPad app for health professionals is available now for free. “Medscape from WebMD is the LARGEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE, FREE medical app available”, says iTunes.

 Surveys show significant proportions of hospitals and doctors already plan to adopt electronic health records and qualify for federal incentive payments
Four-fifths(81%)  of the American hospitals and 41% of office-based doctors aim to adopt the use of electronic health records (EHR) technology. In doing so, they will be entitled to federal incentive payments.

WHAT’S NEW?

FDA Approves Head Lice Treatment for Children and Adults
Natroba (spinosad) Topical Suspension 0.9% has been approved the FDA for the treatment of head lice. Natroba is indicated for adults and children at least 4 years old. Head lice infestation is a common problem among preschoolers and school-aged children.

Toolkit: Teaching Children about the Flu: lesson plans and activities for child care and early childhood programs
The CDC has now made available on its website lesson plans and activities to help teach children about the flu and its prevention. The resource is aimed for child care facilities and early childhood programs.

FDA: Gardasil approved to prevent anal cancer
FDA has recently approved Gardasil as vaccine for the prevention of anal cancer and associated precancerous lesions caused by the human papilllomavirus (HPV). The vaccine covers HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 in people ages 9 through 26 years. Gardasil was previously approved for the prevention of cervical cancer in women.

WHAT’S NOT SAFE?

FDA limits acetaminophen in prescription combination products; requires liver toxicity warnings
Acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) is indicated as fever- and pain reliever as and is available over-the-counter (OTC) products. Although considered safe, high doses of acetaminophen is linked to increased risk for liver toxicity. The FDA is concerned about acetaminophen combined with other ingredients in many prescription drugs and is asking manufacturers to limit acetaminophen content to 325 mg per tablet.

FDA warns public of continued extortion scam by FDA impersonators
Clever extortionists are preying on Internet or telepharmacies by impersonating US FDA officials. The victims (many of whom engaged in illegal business themselves) are threatened with arrest, deportation and other legal action if they refused to pay a certain amount of money.

HHS and EPA announce new scientific assessments and actions on fluoride
Fluoride is present in tap water and is supposed to prevent tooth decay. However, recent data indicate “the development of dental fluorosis that may occur with excess fluoride consumption during the tooth forming years, age 8 and younger.” The HHS recommends lowering water fluoride content to 0.7 mg/li (previous recommendation was range of 0.7 to 1.2 mg/li).

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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