Study: No evidence to support off-label prescribing of atypical antipsychotics
ROCKVILLE, Md. — A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found little evidence to support the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs for uses other than those for which they have official approval.
The report, published in the Sept. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that though atypical antipsychotic medications are effective in treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sometimes depression, there was no evidence that they could be used to treat substance abuse problems, eating disorders or insomnia. The report is an update of a report from 2007 that found some evidence that atypical antipsychotics could work for such conditions as dementia, anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"While atypical antipsychotic medications are not for everyone, many patients who suffer from psychiatric conditions have found these drugs to be very helpful," AHRQ director Carolyn Clancy said. "However, their off-label use, while in some cases beneficial, is of concern because we just don’t know enough about their effectiveness and safety for multiple behavioral conditions."
The Food and Drug Administration has approved nine atypical antipsychotics, including AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine), Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal (risperidone) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Otsuka’s Abilify (aripiprazole).
Sanofi supports flu shot awareness program targeting seniors
ORLANDO, Fla. — Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday launched an awareness campaign to inform Florida residents ages 65 years and older about the importance of influenza protection and the key role vaccination plays in helping to improve the body’s immune response against the virus.
Adults 65 years of age and older typically are the hardest hit by influenza. This new program, called Influenza Immunization for You, urges older adults to talk to their healthcare provider about vaccine options. Florida Hospital Medical Group is spearheading the initiative in the region.
"The new initiative is specially timed to occur throughout September — the time when many older adults often visit their healthcare providers to receive their annual influenza vaccination," stated Justin Menezes, a spokesman for the Orlando Family Medicine of Florida Hospital Medical Group. "We want residents 65 years of age and older to know there is a flu shot made just for them, in addition to the standard influenza vaccine."
Persons ages 65 years and older account for more than 60% of the estimated 226,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States. Further, about 90% of flu-related deaths that occur each year in the United States occur in this age group.
With more than 100 physician practice locations and 35 medical specialties, Florida Hospital Medical Group is Central Florida’s largest multispecialty practice, caring for nearly one million patients a year. The Medical Group’s more-than-250 physicians are affiliated with Florida Hospital — one of the largest not-for-profit hospitals in the country.
Sports journalist Jenn Brown joins team GNC LiveWell
PITTSBURGH — GNC Holdings on Wednesday announced that Jenn Brown, two-time Emmy Award-winning sports journalist, has joined the GNC LiveWell team as its newest brand ambassador.
"Having been a student athlete throughout my life, participating as an honor student in diving, volleyball, basketball, softball and track and field in high school and as a NCAA softball player at the University of Florida, I know and understand the value of education, health and nutrition," Brown said. "Being part of the GNC team, I am looking forward to continuing my efforts to inform, educate and inspire fellow fitness enthusiasts on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle."
Together with Nora Tobin, who signed on as a GNC brand ambassador Aug. 22, Brown will educate athletes and fitness enthusiasts on living a healthy, athletic life — and how GNC products can help enhance and support those goals — through the use of social media, video, appearances and marketing materials.
"At GNC, we find people like Jenn Brown an inspiration," said Jeff Hennion, EVP and chief marketing officer and e-commerce at GNC. "Jenn’s extensive background in sports and media, both as an athlete, journalist and Under Armour model, will help our GNC team deliver our Live Well message to millions of fellow health enthusiasts."