News in Brief: Week of April 9-13

April 11, 2012 05:00 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine to Be Available for 2013-14 Season

The manufacturer of the newly FDA-approved quadrivalent influenza vaccine( has notified AAFP News Now that the product will be marketed for the first time during the 2013-14 influenza season.

As previously reported, FluMist is the first live, attenuated quadrivalent influenza vaccine licensed for use in the United States. The vaccine, which contains two influenza A strains, as well as two influenza B lineage strains, is approved for use in eligible children and adults ages 2-49 years.

FDA Review: Contraceptives Containing Drospirenone May Have Higher Blood Clot Risk

According to an FDA release(, drospirenone-containing birth control pills may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots than other progestin-containing pills.

The FDA recently completed its review of several studies regarding the risk of blood clots in women taking birth control pills containing drospirenone. Drospirenone is a synthetic version of progesterone and is used in such brand-name products as Yaz and Yasmin, among others. The FDA is adding information about the studies to the labels of birth control pills that contain the synthetic hormone.

The FDA began reviewing the issue in May 2011.

"The revised drug labels … will report that some epidemiologic studies reported as high as a threefold increase in the risk of blood clots for drospirenone-containing products when compared to products containing levonorgestrel or some other progestins, whereas other epidemiological studies found no additional risk of blood clots with drospirenone-containing products," the release said.

Surgeon General's Office Seeking Input on Why Patients Don't Take Medications

The Office of the Surgeon General is seeking information about the causes and impact of medication nonadherence in adults with chronic conditions, as well as information about potential solutions to the problem.

The surgeon general's office posted a notice( in the April 5 Federal Register asking for information that could help individuals and organizations improve medication adherence in adults with chronic conditions.

Comments providing "input on and evidence from interventions that improve adherence are particularly encouraged," says the notice. Written comments are due on or before May 7 and cannot exceed 500 words.

Comments can be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Room 710-H, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20001. Comments also can be e-mailed.

Shots by STFM App Now Available

The CDC's 2012 immunization schedules are now available via the Web-based( version of Shots by STFM, which is produced by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, as well as through a free Shots by STFM mobile application( for use by either iPhone or Android-powered smartphones.

In addition to the most current immunization recommendations, Shots includes all of the content included in the printed immunization schedules, as well as supplemental text, graphics and commentary from leading immunization experts.