More than 100 billion pain pills saturated the nation over nine years

Jan 17, 2020 by

New DEA data reveals that 24 billion additional pills than previously known to the public were distributed during the opioid epidemic.

Newly disclosed federal drug data shows that more than 100 billion doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone were shipped nationwide from 2006 through 2014 — 24 billion more doses of the highly addictive pain pills than previously known to the public.

The data, which traces the path of every pain pill shipped in the United States, shows the extent to which opioids flooded the country as deaths from the epidemic continued to climb over nine years.

The Washington Post and the company that owns the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia first obtained the data, collected by the Drug Enforcement Administration, from 2006 through 2012 after waging a year-long legal fight. In July, The Post reported that the data revealed that the nation’s drug companies had manufactured and distributed more than 76 billion pain pills.

The two additional years of information — 2013 and 2014 — was recently posted by a data analytics company managed by lawyers for the plaintiffs in a massive lawsuit against the opioid industry.

“In excess of 100 billion pills is simply jaw-dropping,” said Peter J. Mougey, a lawyer for the plaintiffs from Pensacola, Fla. “The data demonstrates that every community in the country has been negatively impacted.”

The newly released data, which traces the path of pills from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies across the country, confirms again that six companies distributed the vast majority of the pain pills.

McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, Walgreens, AmerisourceBergen, CVS and Walmart accounted for 76 percent of the oxycodone and hydrocodone pills that were shipped between 2006 and 2014, according to an analysis by The Post. The new data will be added to the database of pills previously published by the The Post.

Source: More than 100 billion pain pills saturated the nation over nine years – The Washington Post

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