Drug Czar Cites Jackson Death in Warning on Prescription Drugs

Autopsy results are not yet in on pop icon Michael Jackson, but Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is already citing the singer’s death as a cautionary tale about prescription-drug abuse.

CNN reported July 9 that Kerlikowske said in an interview that “the very sad and untimely loss of Michael Jackson is a wake-up call to the country about prescription drugs.

“I really don’t know anything more than I have read about this,” Kerlikowske told CNN. “But if we can save lives and if we can bring to the attention of the people the dangers of prescription drug abuse, I think there is some benefit to this country.”

Kerlikowske said that prescription-drug overdoses kill more Americans annually than gunshot wounds, and that they keys to prevention include engaging parents to talk about the problem, state monitoring of prescriptions, and a national media campaign warning of the dangers of misuse.

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