In an exclusive Washington Post investigation, data shows that the largest U.S. drug companies flooded the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills.
The information comes from a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every pain pill sold in the United States — from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city. The data provides an unprecedented look at the surge of legal pain pills that fueled the prescription opioid epidemic, which has resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths from 2006 through 2012.
Oklahoma ranked sixth in the country with 54 pills annually per person. The report says 1,403,265,597 total pills came into Oklahoma from 2006 to 2012. West Virginia ranked first with 67 annual pills per person. Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Nevada made the top five. While Oklahoma had more than 1.4 million total pills prescribed during that time, Tennessee had more than 2.5 million.
This federal data was released as part of the largest civil action in U.S. history.