Data Shows Flood of Opioids Across US, Many of Them Generics
WASHINGTON (AP) – The maker of OxyContin has been cast as the chief villain in the nation’s opioid crisis. But newly released government figures suggest Purdue Pharma had plenty of help in flooding the U.S. with billions of pills even as overdose deaths were accelerating.
Records kept by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration show that 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills – the vast majority of them generics, not brand names – were shipped to U.S. pharmacies from 2006 to 2012.
Critics of the pharmaceutical industry say the figures confirm it created the public health disaster. But the data also illustrates how complicated it could be for the courts to figure out who should be held accountable.