Approximately $102,324,007 worth of addictive and deadly medications, to be exact.
The data, compiled by healthcare information provider QuintilesIMS and shared with the Johnson City Press, shows Purdue Pharma LLC, Mallinckrodt PCL and Endo International Pharmaceuticals distributed roughly 78 million units of medication in Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport during the four-year period.
Tony Clark, First Judicial District attorney general, serving Washington, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson counties; Barry Staubus, Second Judicial District attorney general, serving Sullivan County; and Dan Armstrong, Third Judicial District attorney general, serving Greene, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins County, announced the lawsuit during a joint press conference on Tuesday.
The lawsuit demands action regarding the production, promotion and distribution of opioids and alleges the drug manufacturers engaged in fraudulent marketing and misled physicians and the public about the dangers posed by the medications being distributed.
The most-distributed medication was easily Endo International’s 49 million hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablets.
That drug’s wholesale acquisition cost was roughly $17.78 million. The wholesale acquisition cost is a federally defined estimate of a manufacturer’s list price for a drug to wholesalers or other direct purchasers, not including discounts or rebates.
Altogether, Endo International disbursed about 71 million units of a variety of painkillers, including fentanyl patches, hydrocodone variations, meperidine, morphine, oxycodone and oxymorphone, that held a value of approximately $55 million.
Endo moved about 10 million oxycodone tablets and time-release tablets into the region, with its brand name Endocet being one of the most popular.
Opana ER, another brand-name painkiller comprised of oxymorphone and used to treat severe pain, was also popular with about 2.2 million units showing up in the region.
Purdue Pharma’s 6.2 million OxyContin units distributed in the Tri-Cities easily held the largest WAC value of $42.5 million.
According to the lawsuit, OxyContin is Purdue’s largest-selling opioid since 2009 and produced national sales between $2.47 billion and $2.99 billion.
Purdue Pharma also sold about 32,000 morphine sulfate tablets under the name MS Contin.
Other medications Purdue distributed include a buprenorphine patch used to treat pain, hydrocodone bitartrate tablets and hydromorphone tablets sold under the name Dilaudid.
According to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, OxyContin’s street value is worth about $80 a pill, while hydrocodone can cost between $5 and $7 a pill. Percocets can be bought illegally for about $7 to $10 per pill.
Mallinckkrodt PLC, an Irish company headquartered in the United Kingdom, distributed the least of the three companies during the timeframe, making up approximately 35,273 of the oxycodone tablets, sold under Roxicodone, and 36,802 of the hydromorphone tablets, sold under Exalgo.
Other plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit include Center Pointe Medical Clinic LLC, a Tennessee limited liability corporation located in Kingsport.
Tennessee is currently ranked second in the country for the rate of opioid addiction.
|Painkiller Data for the Tri-Cities between 2012-2016
|OxyContin Sustained Release Tablet
|Hydrocodone Bitartrate tablet sold under Hysingla
|Hydromorphone HCL Dilaudid
|Morphine Sulfate sold under MS Contin (release tablet)
|Oxycodone HCL sold under Roxicodone
|Oxycodone sold under Xartemis XR
|Hydromorphone HCL sold under Exalgo
|Buprenorphine sold under BuTrans
|Fentanyl Citrate Lollipop
|Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen sold under Zydone
|Morphine Sulfate (release tablet)
|Morphine Sulfate (release capsule)
|Oxycodone Release Tablet
|Oxycodone sold under Endocet Tablet
|Oxycodone sold under Endocet Capsule
|Oxymorphone sold under Opana
|Oxymorphone sold under Opana ER
|Tramadol Release Tablet
Email Zach Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Zach Vance on Twitter at @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP.