Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Many Americans Mistakenly Believe #Pharma Rx Drugs Are Safe

Many Americans Mistakenly Believe #Pharma Rx Drugs Are Safe | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Many Americans appear to be misusing their prescription drugs in ways that put their health at risk, notably combining dangerous combinations of medicines, according to a report released this week.


The rate at which drugs were misused was 54 percent last year, according to the new analysis of more than 3.1 million de-identified laboratory test results. This was down from 63 percent in 2011, although the findings were quite similar to what was found in 2013 and 2014, according to Quest Diagnostics, the laboratory testing company, which conducted the analysis.


The analysis combed through test results for inconsistencies, such as a patients taking medicines with other drugs for which they don’t have prescriptions, or if they were skipping doses.


Of the tests indicating misuse, about 45 percent showed evidence that patients mixed medicines, which the lab company interpreted as a sign that a “sizable” number of patients might be using dangerous drug combinations.


Notably, this finding was much higher than in previous years — there was evidence that drugs were inappropriately mixed in 32 percent of the 2011 lab tests and 35 percent of the 2014 tests. Quest said the most recent results are significant because combinations of certain drugs — notably, opioids, and sedatives — can cause dangerous interactions, such as severe respiratory depression, coma, and death.


“The discovery that a growing percentage of people are combining drugs without their physician’s knowledge is deeply troubling, given the dangers,” said F. Leland McClure III, Quest’s medical affairs director, in a statement. “Perhaps patients do not understand that mixing even small doses of certain drugs is hazardous, or they mistakenly believe prescription medications are somehow safe.”

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Teens Who Take ADHD Drugs Are at HIGH Risk of Substance Abuse Later

Teens Who Take ADHD Drugs Are at HIGH Risk of Substance Abuse Later | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Young children who take Ritalin, Adderall or other stimulant medications for ADHD over an extended period of time early in life are no more at risk for substance abuse in later adolescence than teens without ADHD, according to a University of Michigan study.

The findings also show that teens who start using stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for a short time later in adolescence — during middle or high school — are at high risk of substance use.

The U-M research is believed to be the first national study to compare early-use and longer-duration stimulant medication therapy with non-stimulant therapy for ADHD.

A large sample size of high school seniors also meant researchers could separate doctor-prescribed ADHD medication use by gender. The results show no gender differences in the overall associations between stimulant medication therapy for ADHD and risk of substance use, said Sean Esteban McCabe, a research professor at the U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

More than 40,000 individuals from 10 cohorts nationwide between 2005 to 2014, answered questions about ADHD medication use and recent substance use as part of the Monitoring the Future study.

Among the findings:

  • Nearly one in eight high school seniors in the United States have used stimulant or non-stimulant medication therapy for ADHD.
  • Males are more likely to use stimulant medication therapy for ADHD, while no gender differences were found for non-stimulant medication therapy.
  • Given that higher substance-use behaviors are associated with later initiation of stimulant medications for ADHD during adolescence, the researchers recommend monitoring this later initiation subgroup carefully for pre-existing risk factors or the onset of substance use behaviors.
Pharma Guy's insight:

Also read: “How #Pharma Targets Kids. Is It Education or Marketing?”;  Also, maybe this "Real [Celebrity] Mom" may reconsider giving her teenage daughter ADHD drugs after reading this; One more reference: “Marketing Drugs to Teens Online - So Wrong!”;

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