Drug manufacturers listed in lawsuit distributed millions worth of painkillers in last 4 years

Zach Vance • Updated Jun 14, 2017 at 11:14 PM

Distribution data shows the three drug manufacturers listed in a lawsuit filed by three district attorneys representing Northeast Tennessee distributed more than $100 million worth of painkillers in the Tri-Cities between 2012 and 2016.

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
Purdue Pharma Units WAC Dollars
OxyContin Sustained Release Tablet 6,240674 $42,566,441
Buprenorphine Patch 39,729 $2,975,552
Hydrocodone Bitartrate tablet sold under Hysingla 29,469 $329,680
Hydromorphone HCL Dilaudid


Morphine Sulfate sold under MS Contin (release tablet) 32,023 $174,075
Total:  6,357,411 $46,070,574
Mallinckrodt PLC    
Oxycodone HCL sold under Roxicodone 35,273 $184,946
Oxycodone sold under Xartemis XR 6,266 $14,396
Hydromorphone HCL sold under Exalgo 36,802 $580,815
Total:  78,341 $780,157
Endo International    
Buprenorphine sold under BuTrans 2,516 $16,203
Fentanyl patch 89,059 $1,624,704
Fentanyl Citrate Lollipop 390 $3,820
Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen Tablet 49,099,490 $17,785,394
Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen Oral  4,027,248 $353,044
Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen sold under Zydone 10,011 $8,178
Hydrocodone/Ibuprofen 198,990 $127,120
Meperidine HCL 74,681 $48,893
Morphine Sulfate (release tablet) 831,438 $1,244,224
Morphine Sulfate (release capsule) 133,302 $641,078
Oxycodone Tablet 5,579,172 $3,430,693
Oxycodone Release Tablet 7,978 $26,255
Oxycodone sold under Endocet Tablet 5,199,265 $8,164,068
Oxycodone sold under Endocet Capsule 49,611 $17,063
Oxycodone Acetaminophen 3,437,022 $2,160,700
Percocet 261,804 $2,735,851
Oxycodone Aspirin 5,697 $4,943
Oxymorphone sold under Opana 10,935 $50,489
Oxymorphone sold under Opana ER 2,212,926 $16,207,055
Oxymorphone HCL 26,392 $70,926
Tramadol Release Tablet 272,054 $752,575
Tramadol Acetaminophen 226,332 $90,407
Total:  71,756,313 $55,473,276

Email Zach Vance at [email protected] Follow Zach Vance on Twitter at @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP.




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