After a one-year battle the Washington Post gained access to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Orders System, which the government and the drug industry had sought to keep secret. The database outlines the 380 million nation-wide opioid transactions from 2006 through 2012. You can download the database to find the number of units distributed to individual pharmacies in your town and learn more about the problems.
The database analyzed shipments of oxycodone and hydrocodone (Vicodin) pills, which account for three-quarters of the total opioid pill shipments to pharmacies. The Post indicates it is making this data available in order to help the public understand the impact of years of prescription pill shipments on their communities.
You can download the data here for the number of pills distributed to your local pharmacies. Fill in the box with New Jersey and your county and then set your FIND key to your municipality. From 2006 to 2012 there were 1,518,780,056 prescription pain pills supplied to New Jersey.
The database includes direct orders from some doctors, but does not list the number of prescriptions by individual physicians. Data from our Attorney-General’s office indicates the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in each county.Each prescription can allow refills.
As the Post says, “These records provide an unprecedented look at the surge of legal pain pills that fueled the prescription opioid epidemic, which resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths during the seven-year time frame ending in 2012.”
This sad and devastating trail ends with the addicted user but can be traced back through pharmacies which dispensed the drugs, sometimes illegally, doctors some of whom carelessly over prescribed them, and manufacturers which produced them and grossly misrepresented the danger they poses. Nearly 2,000 communities hurt by the crisis are suing drug companies for staggering sums of money.