Drug Companies Poured 780 Million Painkiller Pills Into West Virginia : HEALTH : Tech Times
Drug companies have sold 782 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills in West Virginia throughout six years, from 2007 to 2012, shows new report. Additionally, the state is also one of the most problematic across the United States when it comes to fighting the opioid addiction epidemic.
In 2015, West Virginia scored the highest death rate caused by drug overdose, and since 1999 opioid overdoses have quadrupled here.
Only between 2007 and 2012, while the investigation lasted, 1,728 people already died from overdose in West Virginia, caused by consumption of either hydrocodone or oxycodone.
Charleston Gazette-Mail, the newspaper who conducted this investigation, managed to obtain the sales record sent by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the office of the West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. However, this was a very difficult thing to do, as the companies made efforts to keep the sales numbers secret.
To put this into a more accurate picture, West Virginia has a number of 1.84 million residents; the number of pills shipped into the stated throughout this period totals 433 pills for every person in the state, be it man, woman or child.
The situation is all the more odd, as a town with no more than 392 people received a number of almost 9 million hydrocodone pills in two years, through a single pharmacy. It would be close to impossible for a locally owned business to sell so many pills in such a short period of time, especially as the town is really small.