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HHS HealthBeat (July 9, 2013)

A prescription for crime

HHS HealthBeat: Three bottles of prescription drugs.

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Use Medicines Safely

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Drug diversion – when legitimate drugs get channeled for illegal uses – helps to fuel an epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

At HHS’ Office of Inspector General, Jennifer Trussell says some drug abusers get multiple prescriptions and sell what they don’t use. She says some health care professionals write prescriptions or dispense drugs illegally. And she says some criminals sell prescription drugs – sometimes stealing patients’ and providers’ identities to do it.

“Prescription drug diversion is a clear health danger to everyone. It’s devastating to local communities, and is often fraud committed against our federal programs and the American taxpayer.”

If you take prescription drugs, especially opioid painkillers, keep them in secure places, and watch your records for activity you didn’t know about.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 9, 2013