Here’s where the Ozarks stand in a massive opioid data release

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo- Newly released data from lawsuits over the nation’s opioid crisis provides the most detailed accounting to date of the role played by the major pharmaceutical companies and distributors.

That data shares information about opioid painkillers, showing which pharmacies and medical offices they were shipped to from 2006 through 2012 from across the country, even here in the Ozarks.

Below are some of the stats from counties around the Ozarks.

Greene County

  • The top opioid sold is Hydrocodone. The total dosage over the six years was 80,694,222, with 2006 being the highest year at 13,335,341 and dipping down for a few years then in 2012 going back up to 12,743,553.
  • Oxycodone is the second top drug with a total of 37,825,785, 2012 was the highest year for that with 6,346,040 sold.
  • SpecGx LLC labeler takes almost 40% of the market share of Oxycodone distributed in Greene County. Walgreens has the most market share among the distributors with nearly 25%.

Howell County

  • Hydrocodone ranked the highest opioid sold with 15,302,364 doses sold. 2006 was the lowest year and a gradual climb to 2010. 2011 and 2012 saw a high jump in numbers reaching almost three million.
  • Oxycodone is the second-highest opioid here as well. 2012 was the only year the drug made it into the millions.
  • SpecGx LLC also dominated the market with around 45% for both Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.

Christian County

  • The top opioid sold here was Hydrocodone. The total dosage over six years was 14,398,050, with 2006 being the lowest year at 1,489,950 and slowly rising to 2,524,550 in 2012.
  • Oxycodone was the second highest with 6,602,380. The years 2011 and 2012 are the only two that barely reached over one million.
  • SpecGx LLC also dominated the market with around 45% for both Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.

Barry County

  • Barry County is the fourth highest in the Ozarks. Hydrocodone sales totaled 12,215,854 with 2006 being the lowest and 2012 being the highest year.
  • Oxycodone unites totaled 3,884,070 over the seven years.
  • SpecGx LLC also dominated this market with around 40% for Oxycodone and nearly 57% for Hydrocodone.

Other counties that had over ten million total dosage units are Lawrence, Camden, Phelps, and Taney.

To see the data released click here.

According to the Associated Press, the records lie at the heart of the lawsuits over the opioid crisis. The DEA agreed last year to provide the information to parties in the cases, but the parties initially agreed to tight restrictions on who could see it. While lawyers had access, even the mayors and county officials who decided to sue could not.

The Washington Post and HD Media, which owns newspapers in West Virginia, went to court to make it available to the public, an effort supported by other media outlets including The Associated Press. A federal appeals court ruled last month that it could not be sealed entirely. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing most of the opioid lawsuits, agreed this week to let it be released.

Federal data on deaths related to opioid overdoses shows the places that received the most prescription opioids per capita were also the places with the highest overdose death rates. It also shows that the total number of prescription opioids sent to pharmacies increased even as the number of opioid-related deaths was rising, from less than 18,000 a year to more than 23,000, says the AP.

For most of that period, prescription drugs were a factor in nearly half of opioid-related deaths. In recent years, opioids have accounted for roughly two-thirds of all overdose deaths each year in the U.S. In 2017, the last year for which official numbers are available, some 47,600 deaths were attributed to opioids, reports the AP.

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