MorningRX: September 14, 2023


FDA sends warning letters to 8 companies over unapproved eye drops, healthcare visits delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants continue to increase, and WHO agrees on the first-ever patient safety rights charter.

FDA Sends Warning Letters Over Unapproved Eye Drops

The FDA issued warning letters to 8 companies for marketing potentially dangerous unapproved eye drop products, according to a release from the health agency. Companies who received the warning letters include Walgreens and CVS, and they must respond to the FDA within 15 days saying how they plan to correct the violations. The eye drops are used to treat conditions like conjunctivitis, cataracts, and glaucoma, but some of them contain silver, which could cause areas of the skin to turn gray or blue-gray with long-term use. If the companies fail to correct the violations, the FDA could pursue legal action.

“The FDA is committed to ensuring the medicines Americans take are safe, effective and of high quality,” Jill Furman, director of the Office of Compliance for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a release. “When we identify illegally marketed, unapproved drugs and lapses in drug quality that pose potential risks, the FDA works to notify the companies involved of the violations.”

More Health Visits Continue to be Delivered by Non-Physicians

A quarter of all health care visits in the United States are being delivered by nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, according to research published in BMJ. The study gathered data from traditional Medicare claims from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2019, in order to examine the proportion of healthcare visits delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It found that visits delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants rose 14% during the study period.

“The increase in care delivery by nurse practitioners and physician assistants represents a massive change,” Ateev Mehrotra, an author on the study, said in a release. “We need more research on how to best structure teams of clinicians—nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians—so that they can work together to provide the most effective care possible.”

WHO, Stakeholders Agree on Patient Safety Rights Charter

During a conference held Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva, the World Health Organization and several stakeholders agreed on the first-ever patient safety rights charter, according to a release. The charter outlines the rights of all patients in the context of safety and health care, and also aims to assist governments on how to ensure that the voices of patients are heard. Each year, 1 in 10 patients experience harm in health care facilities and 3 million die due to unsafe health care, according to WHO.

“Patient safety is a collective responsibility,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a release. “Health systems must work hand-in-hand with patients, families, and communities, so that patients can be informed advocates in their own care, and every person can receive the safe, dignified, and compassionate care they deserve.”

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