By Mick Holien
It certainly was challenging to watch a National news story this week about the pricing of prescription drugs proceeding by a 60 Minutes program focusing on the unconscionable salaries and bonus received by major drug company execs even while being calling on the carpet for delivering an inordinate amount of painkillers like OxyContin and Fentanyl.
Major drug companies have been accused of providing enough opiate-type drugs to devastate every resident of several small towns all the while earning volumes of money because of increased production.
In a later edition of In My Opinion we’ll talk about shopping for the best price of your prescribed drug which is becoming increasingly common but coming up a nation’s epidemic.
A variety of charges have been brought against a Kentucky firm the beneficiary of the pain killing drug OxyContin which first hit the market in 1995 with sales registered at $45 million. But just four years later sales had increased a robust 2,000 percent to total $1.1 billion.
And after another decade, now promoted as the top pain drug and controlling 30percent of the market, according to theweek.com, profits had inflated out of sight to $3.1 billion.
Purchase by three brothers, all of whom were psychiatrists, they were the first to develop relationships with doctors promoting use of their products over others and hit the street doubling its sales force who routinely began scoring up to $70,000 bonuses on top of $250,000 wages.
A data base also revealed which physicians who were apt to prescribe the greatest amounts of pain killers thereby increasing the customer base.
Demand at one time accelerated cost for an 80mg tablet at over $100.
You are familiar with the term gateway drug well Oxy might be measured in that vein as it is really artificial heroin and with pain relief mostly all gone, prompting use of pure heroin and an epidemic of giant proportions is upon us and ever evolving.
I leave you with just a single example that I found staggering. Fatal Oxy, known as Hillbilly Heroin, overdoses now eclipses the number of deaths of cocaine a nod heroin combined.