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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prescription Drug Take-Backs Not Effective

Every year countless amounts of prescription drugs end up in the wrong hands due to improper disposal of medications. Typically, when people no longer require their medication, they rarely dispose of the drugs. The potential for the drugs getting to the hands of children or people addicted to pain killers is great which is why prescription drug take back days have been implemented across the country. Unfortunately, new research has shown that such programs may not be as effective as hoped, let alone have had any effect on prescription drug abuse in this country.

Carnevale Associates surveyed 148 programs in order to understand how they operate and their effectiveness. Their research has not found any evidence that such programs affect prescription drug abuse.

More research will need to be conducted according to the report, more data is needed to figure out if “take-backs” reduce the size or scope of the prescription drug epidemic. Studies need to determine what percentages of drugs taken and what percentage is returned.

“Until research can properly assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of take-backs, scarce prevention resources should fund proven policies, programs, and practices,” notes the report. These include prescription drug monitoring programs, and initiatives to modify doctors’ prescribing behaviors.

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