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Last Updated
August 28, 2014
NEWSROOM > Latest News > Current
Current | 2013 News | 2012 News | Prior to 2012

May 23, 2014
DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days Meet a Growing Need for Americans
Americans nationwide showed their support for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s
(DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day program by dropping off more prescription pills
than ever.  After seven previous Take Back Days spread over almost four years, 780,158 pounds (390
tons) of pills were brought to the 6,072 collection sites that DEA and its 4,423 state, local, and
tribal law enforcement partners set up on April 26 so the public could discard unwanted, unused and
expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers. When added
to that collected at previous DEA-coordinated Take-Back events, 4.1 million pounds (2,123 tons) of
prescription medications have been removed from circulation.
DEA launched its first Take-Back event in September 2010, after which the President signed the
Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the CSA to allow people, including
residents of long term care facilities, to regularly, conveniently, and safely dispose of their CS
medications by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. DEA
is in the process of finalizing regulations to implement the Act, publishing on December 21, 2012,
a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Disposal of Controlled Substances that presented possible
disposal options.
May 21, 2014
Multi- Language Diabetes Self-Management Programs for Urban Patients
Research supported by AHRQ identified innovative diabetes self-management programs for patients who
speak various languages. The study and abstract, “Diabetes Health Information Technology Innovation
to Improve Quality of Life for Health Plan Members in Urban Safety Net,” appeared in the April–June
issue of Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. Through an automated telephone system, the program
provided 27 weeks of support in English, Spanish and Cantonese. Participants showed improvements in
diabetes self-care behaviors, suggesting that automated telephone support can play an important
role in improving patient-centered diabetes care. (Source: AHRQ Electronic Newsletter; May 20,
2014, Issue #425)
May 21, 2014
Health Literacy and Numeracy - Workshop Summary
Although health literacy is commonly defined as an individual trait, it does not depend on the
skills of individuals alone. Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals'
capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system.
Specifically, the ability to understand, evaluate, and use numbers is important to making informed
health care choices. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy commissioned a paper on numeracy skills
and hosted a workshop that featured the presentation of the paper by its authors. Speakers at the
workshop discussed a number of topics related to numeracy, including the effects of ill health on
cognitive capacity, issues with communication of health information to the public, and
communicating numeric information for decision making.
May 16, 2014
Almost Half of Americans Take At Least One Prescribed Drug: CDC
Nearly half of Americans stated they took at least one prescription medication during the past 30
days, and 10% took at least five, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
(CDC) annual report on the nation's health. Among adults, the most common prescriptions are for
cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. The report, titled "Health, United States, 2013,"
includes the following key findings:

•	About half of all Americans in 2007-2010 reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the
past 30 days.  Use increased with age; 1 in 4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the
past 30 days compared to 9 in 10 adults aged 65 and over.
•	Cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease) and
cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among
adults aged 18-64 years and 65 and over in 2007-2010.  Nearly 18 percent (17.7) of adults aged
18-64 took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days.
•	The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those aged 18-64 has increased more than six-fold
since 1988-1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol.
•	Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years were analgesics to relieve
pain and antidepressants.
•	The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39 percent
between 1995-1996 and 2009-2010.
•	Among adults aged 65 and over, 70.2 percent took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7
percent took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days in 2007-2010.  The use of
cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988-1994.
•	Other commonly used prescription drugs among those aged 65 and older included analgesics, blood
thinners and diabetes medications.
•	In 2012, adults aged 18-64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more
than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who
were insured for the whole year (22.4 percent compared to 5.0 percent).
•	Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those aged 15 and over more than tripled
in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999-2000 to 6.6 in 2009-2010.
May 13, 2014
Study Links Antipsychotic Meds to Reduced Rate of Violent Crime
People who use antipsychotic drugs to treat psychiatric illness are nearly half (45%) as likely to
commit a violent crime compared to when they are not using the medications, according to a new
study in The Lancet. The use of mood-stabilizing drugs is also associated with a reduced rate of
violent crime, although the reduction (24%) is less pronounced.