By: Shannon Persad
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Pharmacies in New Jersey That Sold the Most Opioids During Crisis
A report in June from The Washington Post has shed light on pharmacies that sold the most opioids as the epidemic reached new heights.
It starts with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has a database that tracks every opioid pill sold in the U.S., by both distributors and manufacturers in every city and town. It wasn’t until June 2019 that the DEA made this information public for the first time. The Washington Post then analyzed and compiled 830 million transactions, from the years 2006 to 2012. Also, the data was broken up into county and state levels to help the public understand the impact of opioid prescription sales in their state.
New Jersey Pharmacies That Bought the Most Opioids
First on the list out of the top ten is Partners Pharmacy in Springfield, which bought an estimated 13.5 million opioid pills between 2006 to 2012. Partners Pharmacy is a chain known for nursing services and assisted-living centers in Union county.
CVS in Woodbury is 2nd on the list that bought 8.2 million opioids. CVS, in general, made the top 10 list four times besides being the 2nd highest, with a combination of 22.2 million opioid pills obtained between 2006 to 2012.
This data concludes that areas with high-populations with nursing homes and healthcare facilities carried the most opioids.
However, NJ.com took another look at the data and analyzed who received the most opioids per county.
Most Painkillers Received in South Jersey
Relative to the county population, South Jersey counties received the most opioid pills. Not only did they receive the most opioid pills, but they also had a generous amount of pills per person.
The top pharmacy was Acme in Salem, which received 3.9 million pills. It may not seem that high compared to Partners Pharmacy in Union county. However, Salem’s population is much smaller, allowing Acme to have 61 pills per person, making it the highest on the list.
Overall, four Salem county pharmacies had the most opioid pills shipped to them, with Cumberland making the top list three times as well.
To get a more comprehensive look at the list for both opioids bought and received, click here.
In 2010, New Jersey required pharmacies to report sales of opioids, reducing pill sales by 80%, especially with the prescription monitoring program.
As a result, in 2017, the National Insititute on Drug Abuse cites NJ providers prescribed opioids at a rate of 44.2 per 100 persons. Compared to the national rate of 58.7 per 100 persons, New Jersey’s prescription rate is lower.
However, why is there still an opioid crisis in New Jersey if pharmacies are prescribing at a lower rate? The answer lies in the rise of heroin and fentanyl use as a substitute, leading to overdose deaths.
There has been an uproar of states going after manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, but there lies a darker side to the opioid epidemic than just prescriptions.