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  • FDA Encourages Reporting of Burns Caused by OTC Topical Pain Relievers

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is encouraging health care providers to report adverse events involving over-the-counter (OTC) topical muscle and joint pain relievers to the FDA MedWatch program.  

    Last week, FDA alerted the public that certain OTC products that are applied to the skin for the relief of mild muscle and joint pain have been reported to cause rare cases of serious skin injuries, ranging from first- to third-degree chemical burns, where the products were applied. These OTC topical muscle and joint pain relievers are available as single- or combination-ingredient products that contain menthol, methyl salicylate, or capsaicin. Based on the reported cases, the majority of second- and third-degree burns occurred with the use of products containing menthol as the single active ingredient, and products containing both menthol and methyl salicylate in concentrations greater than 3% menthol and 10% methyl salicylate.

    The various formulations include creams, lotions, ointments, and patches. The products are marketed under various brand names, such as, Bengay, Capzasin, Flexall, Icy Hot, and Mentholatum.

    New Podcast: Advocating for Rural Providers and Patients

    Advocating for the continued use of the Geographic Practice Cost Index, monitoring Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments that provide financial assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients, and supporting the inclusion of physical therapy in programs that incentivize providers to practice in underserved areas are just a few of the ways that APTA attempts to protect and increase the rural physical therapy workforce and optimize care of the patients it serves. Find out more about these policies and the association's priorities in rural health care in this new APTA podcast and transcript.   

    Find Statistics on Hospital Use With New AHRQ Online Tool

    HCUPnet, a free, online query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department use. Users can access national and state statistics on specific diagnoses or procedures for a single year, statistics on all hospital stays, and trends. The system also allows users to rank diagnoses or procedures by key outcomes and measures—such as number of discharges and total charges. National and state statistics on hospital stays by payer also are available.

    This new tool is available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). To begin a search, go to the step-by-step description of the HCUPnet query process.