An onslaught of pills, hundreds of thousands of deaths: Who is accountable?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: August 4th, 2019
The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of Americas catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together, said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. Were seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money. The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, cant be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didnt flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.
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