FDA Proposes New Drug Labeling System for Pregnant Women
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday proposed revising physician labeling for prescription medications in an effort to provide better information about drugs' effects during pregnancy and breast-feeding. New details include the potential risks and benefits for both the mother and the fetus when taking the medication, and how those risks might change during pregnancy. The goal is to help doctors make prescribing decisions and enable them to better counsel patients about using prescription drugs.
Electronic comments about the proposed changes may be submitted within 90 days through the Federal Documents Management System/eRulemaking portal. The FDA will take these comments into account before making final labeling changes.
Stronger Federal Standards Needed for Children's Healthcare
A new report shows that some states do a better job than others of making sure kids have good healthcare, Michelle Andrews reports. Organized as a score card, the Commonwealth Fund report examined how states perform on 13 different indicators in five categories: access to care, quality of care, cost, potential to lead healthy and productive lives, and equity in the quality of care provided regardless of race, income, or insurance status. It ranked states within each category and then assigned states a final overall ranking.
In general, states in the northeastern and north central parts of the country got higher marks on access to and quality of care, while many western and southern states had lower costs. Iowa, the No. 1 state overall, was ranked second in both the access and quality categories, for example. Fourth-ranked Massachusetts had the best record of all states on ensuring that kids got five key vaccinations as well as preventive medical and dental care visits. Check out this interactive map for state-by-state details.
NSAIDs May Help Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
A new study, published in Neurology, suggests that naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The analysis looked at results from six previous studies. The authors found that those who took these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, had a 23 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease in comparison with those who didn't take the medicines. Another study, published earlier this month in Neurology, found that those who take ibuprofen on a regular basis for five years may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.
Struggling With ADHD? There's Help
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, miss an average of three or more weeks per year in workplace productivity, according to the World Health Organization. About 3 to 4 percent of adults worldwide have ADHD, which involves forgetfulness, impulsiveness, and chronic hyperactivity. These symptoms can cause a serious loss of concentration at work, WHO reports.
U.S. News's Nancy Shute talked with Edward Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction and CrazyBusy, about this seemingly scary finding. Hallowell said the news may actually help more people identify a condition that's making them miserable, and get help.
—January W. Payne