On American Morning this morning we're continuing CNN's In Depth look at our use of drugs and medication in the U.S.
Today, we're taking a closer look at the black market for prescription drugs. It's a billion-dollar business, and both dealers and addicts will do anything to get their hands on them. Some 1800 pharmacies have been robbed over the last three years across the country because the street value of these drugs is so high.
See the chart below, as reported by CNN's Poppy Harlow and CNNMoney.com:
Oxycontin – could get $50 to $80 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Oxycodone – could get $12 to $40 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Hydrocodone – could get $5 to $20 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally
Percocet pill – could get $10 to $15 on the street vs. $6 when sold legally
Vicodin – could get $5 to $25 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally
This morning, pharmacist and executive committee member of the National Community Pharmacists Association Keith Hodges speaks with AM's Kiran Chetry. He's had to beef up security at his pharmacy, after a number of attempted break ins. He'll talk about how big a problem this is for him and other pharmacists across the country.
The 30+ states that have controlled prescription databases are not used by healthcare professionals.
Pharmacies are mandated to automatically submit data on controlled substances – it is transparent to the Pharmacist. Getting a report back from the system is labor/time intensive.
It is as if the system is set up to collect data that they know few will use because of how it is structured to retrieve data.
The typical excuse you will get from Pharmacists for not using these systems:
I don't have the time
I am not going to be the "narc police"
I do not want to be confrontational with a patient/customer
It will reduce by $$ volume and it will cut into my bonus !
The whole war on drugs is based on a "fill & chase" business plan.
docs get money for office visits
Pharmacists get money for filling Rxs
Insurance companies just pass the cost along to premiums
DEA get to justify larger staffs and budgets
Pharma's get $$ for the drugs they produce.
Those corp that operate prisons get more $$ to house non-violent drug sellers.
The MONEY TRAIL is very long and convoluted
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