The following are excerpts from the newsletter

August 25, 2011

  • Gray market, black heart: Pharmaceutical gray market finds a disturbing niche during the drug shortage crisis  
  • Safety Brief: Include Purpose on Rx: A handwritten prescription for Latuda was entered as Lantus by a pharmacy technician. The patient was already on Levemir. Pharmacists should always check the patient’s full profile when verifying prescription data entry for both new medications and refills.
  • Safety Brief: APSF tackles post-op opioid monitoring.  The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) published recommendations regarding monitoring strategies for detecting post-op respiratory depression in patients receiving opioids, including those receiving patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). For information on the conclusions and recommendations from this important meeting, visit:
  • Messages in our Mailbox: Tablet/capsule descriptions on pharmacy label. Many retail pharmacies now have the shape, color, and imprint code for the medication printed on the prescription bottle label. Healthcare practitioners need to educate patients to look for these descriptions to help ensure the correct medication has been dispensed.
  • Messages in our Mailbox: Update on labeling electrolytes in parenteral nutrition (PN). Product labels should include the actual dose/strength of the base solution and each additive listed per day (24 hours) to reduce the risk of serious errors caused by variable expressions of ingredient amounts. See the A.S.P.E.N.’s Safe Practices for Parenteral Nutrition Practice Guidelines for more information (   

Special Announcements

  • There's still time to complete the ISMP Medication Safety Self-Assessment! We have extended the deadline for submission to September 30, 2011. If you have not yet begun the assessment, please take this extended opportunity to join many other US hospitals in this national medication safety project. To access the project webpage, please visit:
  • The 14th Annual Cheers Awards Dinner will be held during the ASHP Midyear meeting on Tuesday evening, December 6, 2011, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the New Orleans Board of Trade, 316 Board of Trade Place, New Orleans, Louisiana. To register, please visit:  

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