Monday, August 12, 2019

Database, Post map show how many pain pills individual pharmacies dispensed in 2006-12; the top 10 were all rural

Map by The Washington Post; click on it for a larger version or click here to view the interactive version.
How many opioid pills did your local pharmacy dispense between 2006 and 2012? The Washington Post, expanding on its earlier reporting of databases from the Drug Enforcement Administration, has analyzed and mapped the data to provide a first-of-its-kind, granular look at how many prescription painkillers flowed through individual pharmacies and into communities during that time frame. "The Post’s analysis of the data found that a small percentage of pharmacies received nearly half of the pills distributed in the United States between 2006 and 2012," the Post reports.

"This analysis used two measures for comparison: the number of pills per person per year within a five- to 10-mile radius of each pharmacy and the cumulative number of pills per person based on the county population," The Post reports. All 10 of the pharmacies that dispensed the most pills per person were rural; Shearer Drug in Albany, Ky., led the pack with 96 pills per person per year, for a total of 6,778,550. Albany is the only town in Clinton County, which had 10,272 in the 2010 census.

UPDATE, Aug. 13: The Post "says local journalists in over 30 states have collectively published more than 90 articles based on the data. They’re listed here," Columbia Journalism Review reports.

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