Major Pharmaceutical Distributors “Flooded” Missouri with Opioids, Senate Report Found

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FILE – This Aug. 15, 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies […]

The three major pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S. – McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation and Cardinal Health, Inc. – have shipped around 1.6 billion dosage units of opioid products to Missouri alone between 2012 and 2017, according to a recent report.

That’s more than 260 dosage units for every Missourian during the six-year period.

During 2015 – the peak year for opioid shipments to Missouri during that time span – the three major distributors shipped approximately 52 opioid dosage units per person in the state.

The report, titled “Fueling an Epidemic,” was released Thursday by the U.S.Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Sen. Claire McCaskill from Missouri serves as the top Democrat on that committee.

“It’s staggering. Over six years we averaged 260 pills for every man, woman, and child in Missouri,” McCaskill said in an email. “The opioid crisis these pills have fueled is a failure of policy and oversight by the government and a failure of basic human morality on the part of many pharmaceutical companies and distributors – a failure that has destroyed families and communities all over our state…

(Read the full story shared by the Springfield News-Leader here.)

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