The new cluster will assist regulators in harmonizing their efforts to keep medicines safe, according to FDA.

TRICARE Joins National Rx Take Back Day

Beneficiaries of the TRICARE health plan at several military bases also can participate in the 7th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26.

The Drug Enforcement Administration's 7th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. It’s an opportunity for people to dispose properly of excess prescription drugs that otherwise might be misused or could cause environmental contamination. This year, the TRICARE military health plan is participating, so its beneficiaries at military installations including Fort Hood, Texas; Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; the Naval Medical Center in San Diego; and Fort Benning, Ga., can drop off excess drugs there.

These days are scheduled twice per year. On April 27, 2013, pill collections increased by 50 percent from the previous take-back day, and a total of 371 tons of prescription medications were collected at more than 5,829 locations manned by state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event.

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In all, the six take-back days held thus far have collected more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications.

According to SAMHSA's 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.

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