IMPORTANT INFORMATION: STATUS CHANGE
Nexium 24HR 20mg Cleared for Over-The-Counter Sale without a Prescription
March 28, 2014, the FDA approved Nexium 24HR 20mg for over-the-counter (OTC) use and soon will no longer require a prescription. Frequent heartburn and acid reflex sufferers will be able to obtain Nexium 24HR 20mg from their local pharmacy or grocery store without seeing their healthcare professional first. The OTC version of Nexium 24HR 20mg is anticipated to be available on store shelves soon.
Nexium 24HR 20mg is used for the treatment of heartburn, acid reflux, and the prevention of ulcers.
Even though Nexium 24HR 20mg will soon be available OTC, patients who suffer from persistent heartburn and acid reflux should still continue to see their healthcare professional as directed.
Medications available over-the-counter are not typically covered by insurance programs. If you have any questions regarding coverage contact your benefits office or human resources.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: DRUG RECALL
FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meter and FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meter Recall
On March 14, 2014, Abbott issued a voluntary recall of FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meters and FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meters which are used for testing blood glucose levels in diabetes patients.
The recalled FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meters and FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meters are displaying glucose results that are incorrectly low when used with the Abbott FreeStyle test strips.
If you have either of these recalled blood glucose meters you should contact Abbott Diabetes Care at 1-888-345-5364 to request a replacement meter immediately. If you have an alternative meter you should begin to use the alternative meter to conduct your testing until the replacement arrives.
If you do not have an alternative blood glucose meter continue to test your blood glucose levels following your doctors instructions using the recalled meter while taking the following precautions until you receive the replacement meter.
1) Confirm the meter is working correctly by conducting a quality control solution test and do not use the test strip vial if the results are not within the expected range.
2) If your test results are not within the range of your normal test results or you don’t feel as though your blood glucose levels are testing accurately.
3) If you are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms of high blood glucose levels call your doctor immediately. Symptoms of high blood glucose levels may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, weakness, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
This voluntary recall does not apply to any other Freestyle brand blood glucose monitoring systems. Freestyle Lite®, Freestyle Freedom Lite® or Freestyle InsuLinx® systems can continue to be used with the Freestyle test strips.
If you have any questions about this recall please contact your local retail pharmacist or speak to your doctor.
Adverse events that may be related to the use of this product may also be reported to the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program either online, by regular mail or by fax:
Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm. Mail the form to: MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
Please click on the link below to access the 2014 Generic Pipeline.
Generic Pipeline 2014
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Presented by the DEA
On April 26, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold its eighth DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event offers consumers across the nation an opportunity to dispose of old and unused prescription drugs to help prevent these medications for becoming a danger. Prescription Drug Take-Back day will be held at several sites across the country and will be accepting all excess and expired prescriptions, to include controlled substances.
Past DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Days have collected a combined total of 1,733 tons of disposed of medications. The DEA has coordinated with many states, communities, and local law enforcement for the take-back events.
Every medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, has its own safe handling instructions and even has an expiration date. It is important to become familiar with and understand these requirements. Some prescriptions require refrigeration. Most can be kept at room temperature. All should be stored in a place where they are not easily accessible which can lead to an accidental overdose, especially by children or even pets.
For more information on local drop off sites of the Take-Back Program and methods for safe at home disposal please visit http://www.awarerx.org/get-local.
FreeStyle® and FreeStyle Lite® Blood Glucose Test Strips Recalled
On November 27, 2013, Abbott issued a voluntary recall of 20 lots of FreeStyle® and FreeStyle Lite® Blood Glucose test strips. The recall is due to the test strips producing incorrect low blood glucose results when testing with FreeStyle® Blood Glucose Meter, FreeStyle® Flash Blood Glucose Meter, and OmniPod® Insulin Management System.
The recalled lots are as follows:
FreeStyle® and FreeStyle Lite® Blood Glucose test strips are used to test blood glucose levels in diabetics.
There have not been any adverse events related to this recall, however; when glucose levels are high and go untreated, patients may not seek the proper treatment for extreme hyperglycemia and which can potentially lead to serious injury.
For replacement test strips, please call Abbott’s diabetes care customer service at (888) 736-9869. Abbott will replace the affected test strips at no cost.
Members using mail order should be aware that Benecard Central Fill did not dispense any of the affected lots.
Effexor ®XR and Venlafaxine HCI Recalled
March 6, 2014, Pfizer Inc. issued a voluntary recall of Effexor XR® 150 mg extended-release capsules (venlafaxine HCl) and Greenstone LLC‘s Venlafaxine HCI 150 mg extended-release capsules. The recall is due to the fact that a pharmacist found one capsule of Tikosyn® in a bottle of Effexor XR. Both medications are being recalled because they use the same packaging system.
Effexor XR and Venlafaxine HCI are both used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Meanwhile, the drug Tikosyn is used to treat heart arrhythmia. If Tikosyn is taken in place of Effexor, there is potential for severe injury.
The recall covers:
Effexor XR® 150 mg extended-release capsules
Venlafaxine HC1 150 mg extended-release capsules
If you have either of these products, it is suggested that you cease its use and return any remaining medication to your pharmacy. If you have any questions about this recall please contact your local retail pharmacist or speak to your doctor. Patients can also contact Stericycle at 1-888-345-0481 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm EST, with questions regarding this recall and product reimbursement.
Benecard will be contacting members who have received one of these recall medications through Benecard Central Fill mail service pharmacy with further information.
Reminder: Too Much Acetaminophen Can Be Harmful, Always Read Medication Labels
It is important that you always review your medication labels and do not exceed the recommended dose. Acetaminophen is a safe and effective medication if used correctly. However, since acetaminophen is found in so many over-the-counter medications including fever reducers, pain relievers, and cough and cold products, accidental overdose happens all too often. Care should be used when taking drugs containing this product because taking too much acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage.
For any medications containing acetaminophen, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a limit of 325 mg per dose. The maximum allowance per days remains at 12 doses which should not exceed 4000 mg of acetaminophen.
If you have questions regarding acetaminophen you should talk to your healthcare provider, or for more acetaminophen safety tips visit www.knowyourdose.org.