Weakening FDA’s Authority Over Tobacco Could Impact Use, Advocates Say
Weakening the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority over tobacco could have an adverse impact on tobacco use, according to advocacy groups.
Doctors in West Virginia write an average of 17.7 prescriptions for every resident of the state, far above the national per-capita rate of 11.5, Forbes reported Aug. 18.
Healthcare information firm Verispan said in a new report that Southern states tended to have the highest rate of prescription-drug use — doctors in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Missouri all wrote prescriptions at a higher-than-average rate.
Experts said that the explanation lies in the fact that these states have higher rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes — “chronic diseases that are largely preventable and are linked to lifestyle and physical activity,” according to Jane Barlow of pharmacy-benefits management firm Medco Health Solutions.
West Virginia, for example, exceeds the national average for smoking, heart-disease deaths, diabetes, obesity, and mental-health problems (antidepressants were the third most prescribed drugs in the state, the report said).