The Burden of Prescription Drug Overdoses

The Burden of Prescription Drug Overdoses on Medicaid 

By Hollie Hendrikson Vol . 20, No. 01/ January 2012 

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Nearly 100 people a day died from drug overdoses in 2007.

Prescription drug abuse, misuse and overdoses are on the rise. Drug overdose death rates have increased fivefold since 1990. In 2008, drug overdoses killed 36,450 Americans, nearly 15,000 of whom died from prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone.

These drugs also were responsible for nearly half a million emergency room visits in 2009. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, prescription drug misuse, abuse and fraud cost private health insurers almost $25 billion a year.


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