A new dataset with information from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on the sale of pain pills in the US, is now publicly available through the website of the Washington Post (the Post). An article published on July 21 documents how a recent court order allowed for the release of the data for the first time. The tracking includes shipments by manufacturers and distributors, as well as pharmacy sales. Analyzing and visualizing this data can help further understanding of the opioid epidemic and the areas in most need of help and support.
In its review of the over 380 million pain pill transactions between 2006 and 2012 available in the DEA database, the Washington Post was able to look at county-level data for the number of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills distributed per person. Counties with the most pills given out include, Charleston County, South Carolina with 248.3 pills per person per year and Walker County, Alabama with 140 pills per person per year. The Post has published an interactive map of this data so that others can benefit from this information.
Users who sign up for free with their email to the Post’s website can find data for the county they live in, including amount of pills distributed, top manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. The raw data can also be downloaded for further analysis.
About the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP)
The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by the White House, represents the technology sector and commerce intermediaries including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Oath, UPS, PayPal, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and .Health. CSIP’s mission is to promote industry best practices as it relates to illegal online pharmacies, and educating consumers about safe purchasing of prescription drugs.