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Drug Czar Cites Jackson Death in Warning on Prescription Drugs

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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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