Newly released federal data revealed how drug manufacturers and distributors greatly increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the United States as the nation’s addiction crisis accelerated in severity from 2006 to 2012.
The data was released this week by a federal court after a lawsuit led by The Washington Post and HD Media. The data shows that 8.4 billion hydrocodone and oxycodone pills were distributed to commercial pharmacies in 2006 and 12.6 billion in 2012 – an increase of more than 50%.
During that period, 76 billion pills were distributed in all and more than 100,000 deaths occurred in the U.S. as a result of prescription opioids. That is a higher rate than gun homicides.
Reeling in big Pharma and the politicians and doctors that do their bidding is just as important as stopping the influx of illegal drugs across the border. Both problems persist because of politics and both could be fixed in a month if solving the issues were a goal of people that have the authority to fix them.