Pill production quotas rising amid addiction epidemic

Pharmaceutical companies like to claim they’re addressing the prescription drug addiction epidemic head-on, in part by reformulating addictive painkillers like OxyContin to make the drugs less abusable (more on that here). But this claim seems questionable given that they are continually asking the Drug Enforcement Agency for higher production quotas, which are based on the expected need for such medications. For example, this year’s production quota for oxycodone manufactured for sale is 105.5 million kilograms, up from 94 million in 2009 and 70 million in 2008, according to this article. The DEA says it has bolstered its oversight of Big Pharma, but given the prevalence of pill addiction, why is the agency signing off on MORE drugs, not less?

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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