Data collected by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shows more than 100 billion doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone were shipped nationwide between 2006 and 2014, The Washington Post reports.
In July, the newspaper reported that the nation’s drug manufacturers had distributed more than 76 billion opioid pills from 2006 through 2012. Two additional years of data were recently posted by a data analytics company involved in a massive lawsuit against opioid makers.
The new analysis confirms that six companies–McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, Walgreens, AmerisourceBergen, CVS and Walmart–distributed three-fourths of the pain pills between 2006 and 2014.
Three manufacturers accounted for 85% of the pills produced during those years: SpecGx, a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt; Actavis Pharma; and Par Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals.
According to the new data, West Virginia received the most pills per person per year—66.8. Kentucky was second, with 63.6, and South Carolina was third with 60.9.
Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.