Painkiller Death Rate Highest Among Older Adults

The rate of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers has nearly quadrupled since 1999, but new government figures show that since 2006, the rate of increase has finally slowed — except among older adults. According to a newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the rate of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers is still highest among those ages 45 to 54, with the fastest increase in deaths over the past decade among those 55 to 64. In 2011, …

Former Players Say NFL Teams Gave Pain Pills ‘Like Candy’

By Jim Litke, AP Sports Writer Former NFL lineman Jeremy Newberry says he often hobbled into the San Francisco 49ers locker room using a walking boot and crutches, then lined up behind as many as two dozen teammates for treatment – in his case, a shot of the painkiller Toradol. Ten minutes later, he sprinted onto the field to play. The toughness of pro football players is part of the league’s image, but a lawsuit filed on May 20 on …

Does Your Doctor Prescribe Too Many Risky Drugs?

Medicare’s popular prescription drug program, Part D, covers more than 35 million people and a billion prescriptions annually, but Medicare has never monitored which doctors may be overprescribing medications that are risky for older adults – namely, drugs that are disorienting, addictive or harmful. The investigative journalism group ProPublica, together with the Washington Post, has now launched a database called Prescriber Checkup, which allows users to search doctors’ names and see which ones are frequently prescribing potentially dangerous drugs, such …