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Last Updated
August 26, 2016
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August 26, 2016
Testing Digital Medicines to Improve Adherence
In an effort to increase medication adherence, Children's Health in Dallas is testing technology that uses tiny sensors 
embedded in the medicine. The sensors connects with a patch the patient wears on his or her side, relaying such 
information as increases or drops in blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep patterns. That data is then transmitted via 
the cloud to a server at the hospital. Patients, caregivers, and providers can view the data and see whether 
medications have been taken and whether they were in the proper dose and schedule. The first patient to test the 
digital medicine at Children's is a 6-year-old girl who underwent a kidney transplant a year ago and must take a 
complex regimen of vitamins, steroids, and blood pressure, urinary tract, and immunosuppressive drugs daily. 

August 25, 2016
Heart Attack Survivors Don't Take Medications Consistently
Many patients with clogged arteries or those who have survived a heart attack don't consistently take medications 
prescribed to prevent life-threatening complications, according to a study published in the Journal of the American 
College of Cardiology. Less than half of patients took their drugs at least four out of every five days, a rate that 
lowered the odds of death, heart attack and surgery. "We have effective, safe inexpensive drugs that prevent stroke, 
death and heart attack but they don't work unless the patient chooses to take them," said Dr. Marie Brown, a 
researcher at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. (Source: Journal of the American  College of Cardiology)

August 16, 2016
Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy & Childhood Behavioral Problem
New research links use of acetaminophen during pregnancy to higher risk for multiple behavioral problems in children. 
The study, conducted by Evie Stergiakouli, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and colleagues, 
examined the associations between offspring behavioral problems and maternal prenatal acetaminophen use, maternal 
postnatal acetaminophen use, and her partner's acetaminophen use.
 
Conclusions and Relevance:  Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral 
difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to 
acetaminophen use insofar as they are not observed for postnatal or partner’s acetaminophen use. Although these 
results could have implications for public health advice, further studies are required to replicate the findings and to 
understand mechanisms.

August 10, 2016
Minorities Suffer from Unequal Pain Treatment
African Americans have been largely insulated from the opioid crisis—possibly due to insurance gaps and a general 
aversion to the drugs, but also likely due to stereotyping and discrimination. One analysis, which reviewed 20 years of 
published research, found that African Americans were 34% less likely to get prescription opioids for migraines and 
back or abdominal pain. They were 14% less likely to be prescribed them even following surgery or a serious injury. 
Other studies have also documented the reluctance to treat African Americans with opioids. Researchers surmise that 
health professionals work under the false belief that African Americans are more likely to abuse drugs. Additionally, 
some doctors may have less empathy for people racially different from themselves and, thus, tend to underestimate 
their pain. (Source:  Pharmacy Today, APhA, 08/10/16)

August 9, 2016
Students Face Barriers to Quick, Reliable Access to Asthma Medication in Schools
Many of the more than 6 million U.S. children who have asthma may not have quick access to lifesaving medicine at 
schools, the American Lung Association (ALA) reports, noting that children may face barriers including the inability to 
self-carry an asthma inhaler or lack of access to a school nurse during the school day, after-school daycare, or off-
campus school activities.  According to the American Lung Association, asthma is a manageable disease, but it is 
essential for children to have fast and reliable access to asthma medications in schools.
(Source:  American Lung Association)