On October 26, several law enforcement agencies in the Cape hosted the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The Cape Cod Times reported that fourteen towns took part in the event to help rid localities of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. The National Drug Take-Back Day, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (the “DEA”), allows citizens to drop off their unused and out-of-date prescription drugs, no questions asked. The program provides for a safe, convenient, and responsible way for Cape residents to dispose of their unused and dangerous drugs while also educating the public about the problems of prescription drugs. As experienced prescription medical malpractice attorneys, we have seen first-hand the injuries and pain that prescription drugs can cause if not properly prescribed.
Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. concerns many healthcare and law enforcement agencies. Overdoses involving prescription drugs have soared in recent years. A 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”) indicated that, for the first time, prescription drugs have surpassed all other drugs as the biggest cause of drug overdoses. The CDC has also found that the increased rate of drug induced fatalities have nearly doubled since 2000 while equivalent rates for homicides, motor vehicle fatalities, and firearm fatalities have all dropped.
The National Drug Take-Back Day is one way of removing these dangerous drugs from the public and preventing abuse. Once prescription drugs are no longer needed, patients are reluctant to dispose of them in the trash or flush them down the toilet because of environmental concerns. Keeping our landfills and water free from drugs and chemicals ensures the health and safety of our natural resources. Returning prescription drugs to a Take-Back Day program is the most environmentally protective way to dispose of unused medications.
Because of the difficulty of disposing prescription drugs, many prescription drugs remain left in bathroom cabinets, kitchen cabinets and bedside stands. Left in these places, they are susceptible to abuse by teens and adults who may be addicted to prescription drugs. According to the DEA, hundreds of thousands of pounds of prescription drugs are turned over annually to the program.
Recalled drugs are one source of unused drugs. A recall is where a prescription drug that had subsequently been found to be safe is later recalled when new evidence uncovers serious health risks associated with the drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA) has already listed more than 50 recalls in 2013 alone. When a recall is issued, not every patient returns or disposes of the drug correctly leaving many drugs in the public for potential prescription drug abuse. In addition, many of these recalled drugs cause injury or death before the recall, and sometimes patients continue to take a drug after a recall because they are not aware of the recall.
The reason for the alarming number of recalls might be because of the initial safety testing. Just because a drug meets the FDA standards for testing does not necessarily mean that the drug is safe. The testing labs that do the FDA testing are largely funded by the pharmaceutical companies giving the labs a perverse incentive to pass along questionably safe drugs.
Whatever the source of the alarming number of prescription drug overdoses, we appreciate local law enforcement’s participation in a campaign to remove these drugs from society and educate the public about prescription drugs. While the Drug Take-Back Day focuses on drug abuse, many of the rising number of fatal overdoses were the result of recalls or improperly filled prescriptions. As experienced improper prescription medical malpractice attorneys, we have seen first hand the injuries and pain associated with prescription drugs. Overdoses, injury, or death resulting from prescription drugs can cause physical, emotional, and financial difficulties. We understand that most doctors correctly prescribe drugs; however, not all doctors obey the rules or act carefully. If you or someone you love have been harmed by an improperly filled prescription drug, you are encouraged to speak to an attorney experienced in improper improperly filled drug cases.
Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience handling improperly filled drug cases for injured victims in Cape Cod. For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us by email. There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.
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