Report Exposes Data, Unconscionable Business Of Opioid Epidemic | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Report Exposes Data, Unconscionable Business Of Opioid Epidemic | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC


>>>PICK A PLACE ANYWHERE IN THE>>>PICK A PLACE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. COUNTRY. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IS THE ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IS THE STATE TO START. STATE TO START. PICK SOMEWHERE YOU ARE FAMILIAR PICK SOMEWHERE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH OR WHERE YOU GREW UP. WITH OR WHERE YOU GREW UP. SAY SOUTH CAROLINA. SAY SOUTH CAROLINA. THEN ADD THE COUNTY. THEN ADD THE COUNTY. SAY CHARLESTON COUNTY. SAY CHARLESTON COUNTY. CLICK SUBMIT AND LOOK. CLICK SUBMIT AND LOOK. THIS AMAZING TOOL SHOWS YOU THIS AMAZING TOOL SHOWS YOU WHICH DISTRIBUTORS WERE GETTING WHICH DISTRIBUTORS WERE GETTING PILLS FROM OPIOID MANUFACTURERS PILLS FROM OPIOID MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTING IN YOUR COUNTY. AND DISTRIBUTING IN YOUR COUNTY. IT SHOWS YOU WHICH MANUFACTURERS IT SHOWS YOU WHICH MANUFACTURERS WERE ALSO SHIPPING PILLS TO WERE ALSO SHIPPING PILLS TO THOSE DISTRIBUTORS IN YOUR THOSE DISTRIBUTORS IN YOUR COUNTY. COUNTY. THEN LOOK AT THE NEXT COLUMN. THEN LOOK AT THE NEXT COLUMN. PHARMACIES. PHARMACIES. YOU CAN GO DRUGSTORE BY YOU CAN GO DRUGSTORE BY DRUGSTORE. DRUGSTORE. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY PILLS THEY ARE DISTRIBUTING, YOU PILLS THEY ARE DISTRIBUTING, YOU CAN GO STORE BY STORE BY STORE. CAN GO STORE BY STORE BY STORE. PHARMACY BY PHARMACY AND IF YOU PHARMACY BY PHARMACY AND IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE SENSE WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF THE NUMBERS BEING OF THE NUMBERS BEING DISTRIBUTED, HERE’S AN EASY DISTRIBUTED, HERE’S AN EASY DISTILLATION. DISTILLATION. HOW MANY HIGHLY ADDICTIVE PILLS HOW MANY HIGHLY ADDICTIVE PILLS WERE THEY PUSHING INTO YOUR TOWN WERE THEY PUSHING INTO YOUR TOWN THROUGH THESE INDIVIDUAL THROUGH THESE INDIVIDUAL DRUGSTORES AND PHARMACIES? DRUGSTORES AND PHARMACIES? YOU CAN TELL THE NUMBER OF PAIN YOU CAN TELL THE NUMBER OF PAIN PILLS PER PERSON PER YEAR BEING PILLS PER PERSON PER YEAR BEING DISTRIBUTED INTO YOUR COUNTY. DISTRIBUTED INTO YOUR COUNTY. YOU CAN DO IT THROUGH THE YOU CAN DO IT THROUGH THE WEBSITE OF THE “WASHINGTON WEBSITE OF THE “WASHINGTON POST.” POST.” WE POSTED THE LINK SO IT’S EASY WE POSTED THE LINK SO IT’S EASY TO FIND. TO FIND. YOU CAN DO THIS FOR ANY COUNTY YOU CAN DO THIS FOR ANY COUNTY IN THE COUNTRY. IN THE COUNTRY. THE REASON YOU CAN DO THIS NOW THE REASON YOU CAN DO THIS NOW IS BECAUSE IT TURNS OUT THERE IS IS BECAUSE IT TURNS OUT THERE IS A DATABASE OF EVERY SINGLE A DATABASE OF EVERY SINGLE OPIOID PILL LEGALLY SOLD IN THE OPIOID PILL LEGALLY SOLD IN THE COUNTRY. COUNTRY. EVERY PILL DOWN TO THE ONE. EVERY PILL DOWN TO THE ONE. IT’S A LIST MAINTAINED BY THE IT’S A LIST MAINTAINED BY THE DEA THAT TRACKS EVERY PILL FROM DEA THAT TRACKS EVERY PILL FROM THE DRUG MANUFACTURERS TO THE THE DRUG MANUFACTURERS TO THE DISTRIBUTORS TO THE INDIVIDUAL DISTRIBUTORS TO THE INDIVIDUAL PHARMACIES. PHARMACIES. ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT EXISTS SO THE DEA CAN TRACK IT EXISTS SO THE DEA CAN TRACK SUSPICIOUS SALES. SUSPICIOUS SALES. THE BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES THE BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT A PAIN ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT A PAIN PILL TO THE DEA. PILL TO THE DEA. THAT’S HOW THE DATABASE EXISTS. THAT’S HOW THE DATABASE EXISTS. WHO HAS ACCESS? WHO HAS ACCESS? IT HAS BEEN KEPT SECRET AND IT HAS BEEN KEPT SECRET AND HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC VIEW HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC VIEW UNTIL NOW. UNTIL NOW. A TEAM OF REPORTERS FROM “THE A TEAM OF REPORTERS FROM “THE WASHINGTON POST” AND THE GAZETTE WASHINGTON POST” AND THE GAZETTE MAIL HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET MAIL HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET ACCESS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS ACCESS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS NOW. NOW. THE POST FILED A FREEDOM OF THE POST FILED A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT FOR THE DATABASE INFORMATION ACT FOR THE DATABASE AND IT WAS DENIED. AND IT WAS DENIED. THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT WANT THE THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT WANT THE DATABASE MADE PUBLIC. DATABASE MADE PUBLIC. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE DRUG MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE DRUG COMPANIES REALLY, REALLY DIDN’T COMPANIES REALLY, REALLY DIDN’T WANT IT MEATADE PUBLIC. WANT IT MEATADE PUBLIC. THEY TRIED TO PRY THIS THEY TRIED TO PRY THIS INFORMATION LOOSE AND IF WHAT INFORMATION LOOSE AND IF WHAT PILLS WENT WHERE WAS MADE PILLS WENT WHERE WAS MADE PUBLIC, IT MIGHT GIVE THE DRUG PUBLIC, IT MIGHT GIVE THE DRUG COMPANIES AN ADVANTAGE IN THE COMPANIES AN ADVANTAGE IN THE MARKETPLACE WHERE THE HUNGRIEST MARKETPLACE WHERE THE HUNGRIEST MOST ADDICTED MARKETS WERE. MOST ADDICTED MARKETS WERE. VALUABLE INFORMATION. VALUABLE INFORMATION. YOU KNOW HOW MANY PILLS YOU CAN YOU KNOW HOW MANY PILLS YOU CAN SELL? SELL? WE CAN’T LET THAT INFORMATION WE CAN’T LET THAT INFORMATION OUT THERE. OUT THERE. THE DRUG COMPANIES HAVE TO THE DRUG COMPANIES HAVE TO SUBMIT INFORMATION THAT ENDS UP SUBMIT INFORMATION THAT ENDS UP IN THE DATABASE AND THE DATABASE IN THE DATABASE AND THE DATABASE IS KEPT SECRET. IS KEPT SECRET. THE REPORTERS WERE TRYING TO GET THE REPORTERS WERE TRYING TO GET IT MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE, MADE IT MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE, MADE PUBLIC TO THEM IN THEIR PUBLIC TO THEM IN THEIR NEWSPAPERS. NEWSPAPERS. “THE WASHINGTON POST” AND THE “THE WASHINGTON POST” AND THE GAZETTE MAIL SAW A WINDOW WITH A GAZETTE MAIL SAW A WINDOW WITH A FEDERAL JUDGE OVERSEEING THE FEDERAL JUDGE OVERSEEING THE SINGLE LARGEST CIVIL ACTION IN SINGLE LARGEST CIVIL ACTION IN U.S. HISTORY. U.S. HISTORY. IT’S A CASE THAT CONSOLIDATED IT’S A CASE THAT CONSOLIDATED ABOUT 2,000 DIFFERENT CASES ALL ABOUT 2,000 DIFFERENT CASES ALL BROUGHT BY STATE AND LOCAL BROUGHT BY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AGAINST THE BIG GOVERNMENTS AGAINST THE BIG COMPANIES THAT MAKE AND SELL THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE AND SELL THE PILLS. PILLS. THAT FEDERAL JUDGE PREVIOUSLY THAT FEDERAL JUDGE PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED SOME OF THE PLAINTIFFS ALLOWED SOME OF THE PLAINTIFFS IN THAT CASE TO THEMSELVES IN THAT CASE TO THEMSELVES ACCESS SOME OF DATA FROM THIS ACCESS SOME OF DATA FROM THIS BIG IMPORTANT MIND BLOWING BIG IMPORTANT MIND BLOWING DATABASE. DATABASE. IT WAS UNDER A PROTECTIVE ORDER. IT WAS UNDER A PROTECTIVE ORDER. EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD SEE IT, EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD SEE IT, THEY COULDN’T TELL ANYBODY ABOUT THEY COULDN’T TELL ANYBODY ABOUT WHAT THEY COULD FIND THERE. WHAT THEY COULD FIND THERE. IN A LEGAL PROCEEDING, THAT’S IN A LEGAL PROCEEDING, THAT’S KNOWN AS A GOOD PLACE TO START. KNOWN AS A GOOD PLACE TO START. SO THE GOOD FOLKS AT “THE SO THE GOOD FOLKS AT “THE WASHINGTON POST” TRIED TO BUILD WASHINGTON POST” TRIED TO BUILD ON THAT AND FILED TO INTERVENE ON THAT AND FILED TO INTERVENE IN THE CASE SAYING IF YOU CAN IN THE CASE SAYING IF YOU CAN LET THE LOCALITIES SEE THIS LET THE LOCALITIES SEE THIS STUFF, WE AS NEWS ORGANIZATIONS STUFF, WE AS NEWS ORGANIZATIONS AND THROUGH US, THE PUBLIC WE AND THROUGH US, THE PUBLIC WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET ACCESS TO SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET ACCESS TO THE DATABASE, TOO. THE DATABASE, TOO. THE JUDGE TOLD THEM NO. THE JUDGE TOLD THEM NO. BUT THE NEWSPAPERS DIDN’T ACCEPT BUT THE NEWSPAPERS DIDN’T ACCEPT THAT ANSWER. THAT ANSWER. THEY APPEALED THE JUDGE’S RULING THEY APPEALED THE JUDGE’S RULING AND LAWYERS ARGUED THAT THIS AND LAWYERS ARGUED THAT THIS INFORMATION SERVED A PUBLIC NEED INFORMATION SERVED A PUBLIC NEED TO KNOW. TO KNOW. IT WOULD SERVE THE PUBLIC IT WOULD SERVE THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND UNDERSTANDING AND INTEREST AND UNDERSTANDING AND FIGHTING THE OPIOID CRISIS TO FIGHTING THE OPIOID CRISIS TO KNOW WHICH MANUFACTURERS AND KNOW WHICH MANUFACTURERS AND WHICH DISTRIBUTORS SENT HOW MANY WHICH DISTRIBUTORS SENT HOW MANY DRUGS WHERE AND WHICH DRUGSTORES DRUGS WHERE AND WHICH DRUGSTORES SOLD THEM. SOLD THEM. ULTIMATELY IT WAS A FEDERAL ULTIMATELY IT WAS A FEDERAL APPEARS COURT THAT AGREED WITH APPEARS COURT THAT AGREED WITH THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ON THIS THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ON THIS AND RULED IN THEIR FAVOR. AND RULED IN THEIR FAVOR. THE DATA WILL AID US IN THE DATA WILL AID US IN UNDERSTANDING THE ENORMITY OF UNDERSTANDING THE ENORMITY OF THE EPIDEMIC AND AID US IN THE EPIDEMIC AND AID US IN ENDING IT. ENDING IT. WITH THAT, SIX YEARS OF DATA WITH THAT, SIX YEARS OF DATA FROM THIS MASSIVE DATABASE FROM THIS MASSIVE DATABASE TRACKING EVERY OPIOID PILL SOLD TRACKING EVERY OPIOID PILL SOLD IN AMERICA WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO IN AMERICA WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. THE PUBLIC. AND THE MOST MADE THIS WIDGET AND THE MOST MADE THIS WIDGET THAT ALLOWS YOU TO ACCESS IT IN THAT ALLOWS YOU TO ACCESS IT IN THIS CONVENIENCE WAY. THIS CONVENIENCE WAY. YOU CAN GET THIS DATA FOR ANY YOU CAN GET THIS DATA FOR ANY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. PUT IN THE STATE AND THE COUNTY. PUT IN THE STATE AND THE COUNTY. IT IS AMAZING TO SCROLL AROUND. IT IS AMAZING TO SCROLL AROUND. IF YOU PICK THE COUNTY WHERE YOU IF YOU PICK THE COUNTY WHERE YOU KNOW AND CLICK ON THAT, YOU WILL KNOW AND CLICK ON THAT, YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THE PHARMACIES THAT RECOGNIZE THE PHARMACIES THAT POP UP. POP UP. NOW THAT WE HAVE ACCESS THANKS NOW THAT WE HAVE ACCESS THANKS TO THE REPORTERS IN THEIR LEGAL TO THE REPORTERS IN THEIR LEGAL INTERVENTION, WE CAN ALL NOW SEE INTERVENTION, WE CAN ALL NOW SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME WHAT HAS BEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL GOING ON DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL PILL. PILL. THE NUMBER OF PILLS THE COMPANY THE NUMBER OF PILLS THE COMPANY SOLD IN THE-YEAR TIME FRAME ARE SOLD IN THE-YEAR TIME FRAME ARE STAGGERING. STAGGERING. FAR EXCEEDING WHAT PREVIOUSLY FAR EXCEEDING WHAT PREVIOUSLY HAS BEEN DISCLOSED IN LIMITED HAS BEEN DISCLOSED IN LIMITED FILINGS AND NEWS STORIES. FILINGS AND NEWS STORIES. FAR EXCEEDING. FAR EXCEEDING. I WONDER WHY THEY DIDN’T WANT I WONDER WHY THEY DIDN’T WANT ANYBODY TO SEE IT. ANYBODY TO SEE IT. YOU MAY NOT WANT THE COUNTRY TO YOU MAY NOT WANT THE COUNTRY TO KNOW YOU ARE SHIPPING OUT MORE KNOW YOU ARE SHIPPING OUT MORE THAN 12 BILLION HIGHLY ADDICTED THAN 12 BILLION HIGHLY ADDICTED PAIN PILLS IN A YEAR. PAIN PILLS IN A YEAR. 12 BILLION PILLS TO A COUNTRY 12 BILLION PILLS TO A COUNTRY WITH ONLY 320 MILLION PEOPLE IN WITH ONLY 320 MILLION PEOPLE IN IT. IT. I PROBABLY WOULDN’T WANT ANYBODY I PROBABLY WOULDN’T WANT ANYBODY DOWNLOADING THAT DATA EITHER. DOWNLOADING THAT DATA EITHER. WHAT THE POST HAS BEEN ABLE TO WHAT THE POST HAS BEEN ABLE TO GET THEIR HANDS ON IS DATA FROM GET THEIR HANDS ON IS DATA FROM 2006 TO 2012. 2006 TO 2012. ALL THE REPORTERS WERE ABLE TO ALL THE REPORTERS WERE ABLE TO GET OUT OF THE COURTS. GET OUT OF THE COURTS. ONE OF THE AMAZING THINGS IS SO ONE OF THE AMAZING THINGS IS SO MANY MORE BILLIONS OF PILLS WERE MANY MORE BILLIONS OF PILLS WERE BEING SHIPPED OUT THAN ANYBODY BEING SHIPPED OUT THAN ANYBODY KNEW ABOUT, BUT ALSO IT GOT KNEW ABOUT, BUT ALSO IT GOT WORSE AND WORSE OVERTIME. WORSE AND WORSE OVERTIME. AGAIN, THIS IS A SEVEN-YEAR AGAIN, THIS IS A SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD STARTING IN 2006. PERIOD STARTING IN 2006. OVER THE YEARS FROM 2006 TO 2012 OVER THE YEARS FROM 2006 TO 2012 LIT THE COUNTRY ON FIRE. LIT THE COUNTRY ON FIRE. THE DEATH RATE STARTED THE DEATH RATE STARTED SKYROCKETING AND THE COUNTRY SKYROCKETING AND THE COUNTRY STARTED FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT. STARTED FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT. OVER THE COURSE OF THOSE SEVEN OVER THE COURSE OF THOSE SEVEN YEARS, WHILE 100,000 AMERICANS YEARS, WHILE 100,000 AMERICANS WERE KILLED BY THE DRUGS, WE CAN WERE KILLED BY THE DRUGS, WE CAN TELL THEY KEPT UPPING THE TELL THEY KEPT UPPING THE NUMBERS THEY WERE SHIPPING. NUMBERS THEY WERE SHIPPING. THEY WERE AT 84 IN 2006. THEY WERE AT 84 IN 2006. IN 2012, THEY WERE UP TO 12.6 IN 2012, THEY WERE UP TO 12.6 BILLION PILLS. BILLION PILLS. THAT MEANT THEY WERE SHIPPING ON THAT MEANT THEY WERE SHIPPING ON AVERAGE 36 HIGHLY ADDICTIVE PAIN AVERAGE 36 HIGHLY ADDICTIVE PAIN PILLS FOR EVERY MAN, WAND PILLS FOR EVERY MAN, WAND BABY IN THE UNITED STATES. BABY IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU CAN CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR YOU CAN CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR COUNTY IS ON PAR FOR THAT OR IF COUNTY IS ON PAR FOR THAT OR IF YOUR COUNTY WENT WHOLE HOG. YOUR COUNTY WENT WHOLE HOG. THE PER PERSON AVERAGE IN 2012 THE PER PERSON AVERAGE IN 2012 IS 36 OF THESE PILLS FOR EVERY IS 36 OF THESE PILLS FOR EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD. MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD. 36. 36. IN NORTON, VIRGINIA, THE IN NORTON, VIRGINIA, THE SMALLEST CITY IN RARE VIRVIRGINI SMALLEST CITY IN RARE VIRVIRGINI WERE NOT SHIPPING 36 PER PERSON. WERE NOT SHIPPING 36 PER PERSON. THEY WERE SHIPPING 306 PILLS PER THEY WERE SHIPPING 306 PILLS PER PERSON. PERSON. OVER THE COURSE OF JUST ONE OVER THE COURSE OF JUST ONE YEAR. YEAR. IT’S ASTONISHING. IT’S ASTONISHING. THE OTHER THING THAT’S AMAZING THE OTHER THING THAT’S AMAZING IS IT DOESN’T JUST TELL US HOW IS IT DOESN’T JUST TELL US HOW THEY WENT UP AND UP AS THE THEY WENT UP AND UP AS THE COUNTRY GOT MORE AND MORE COUNTRY GOT MORE AND MORE ADDICTED, BUT WHAT THE COMPANIES ADDICTED, BUT WHAT THE COMPANIES KNEW ABOUT THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR. KNEW ABOUT THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR. THIS IS WHAT THEY KNEW THEY WERE THIS IS WHAT THEY KNEW THEY WERE DOING. DOING. THEIR OWN DATA THEY PLUGGED IN. THEIR OWN DATA THEY PLUGGED IN. THEY KNEW. THEY KNEW. THIS COMPANY’S SPECK KNEW THEY THIS COMPANY’S SPECK KNEW THEY WERE SHIPPING 4.7 MILLION HIGHLY WERE SHIPPING 4.7 MILLION HIGHLY ADDICTIVE PILLS THAT YEAR INTO A ADDICTIVE PILLS THAT YEAR INTO A TOWN OF 4,000 PEOPLE. TOWN OF 4,000 PEOPLE. 4.7 MILLION PILLS? 4.7 MILLION PILLS? WAL-MART KNEW IT ALONE WAS WAL-MART KNEW IT ALONE WAS DISTRIBUTING 3.4 MILLION DISTRIBUTING 3.4 MILLION HIGHEELY ADDICTIVE PILLS INTO A HIGHEELY ADDICTIVE PILLS INTO A TOWN OF 4,000 PEOPLE. TOWN OF 4,000 PEOPLE. THE DATABASE REVEAL WHAT IS EACH THE DATABASE REVEAL WHAT IS EACH KNEW ABOUT THE NUMBER OF PILLS KNEW ABOUT THE NUMBER OF PILLS THEY WERE SHIPPING AND DISPENSE THEY WERE SHIPPING AND DISPENSE WHEN THEY WERE AWARE OF THOSE WHEN THEY WERE AWARE OF THOSE VOLUMES AND CASE AFTER CASE, THE VOLUMES AND CASE AFTER CASE, THE COMPANY ALLOWED THE DRUGS TO COMPANY ALLOWED THE DRUGS TO REACH THE STREETS OF COMMUNITIES REACH THE STREETS OF COMMUNITIES LARGE AND SMALL DESPITE RED LARGE AND SMALL DESPITE RED FLAGS THEY WERE BEING SOLD IN FLAGS THEY WERE BEING SOLD IN VIOLATION AND DIVERTED TO THE VIOLATION AND DIVERTED TO THE BLACK MARKET. BLACK MARKET. THEY HAVE BEEN REPORTEDING OUT THEY HAVE BEEN REPORTEDING OUT THE DETAILS THAT THEY PRIED THE DETAILS THAT THEY PRIED LOOSE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND LOOSE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND THEY TO THEIR CREDIT RELEASED IT THEY TO THEIR CREDIT RELEASED IT FOR EVERYONE TO SEE FOR YOUR OWN FOR EVERYONE TO SEE FOR YOUR OWN COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY. CLICK ON YOUR STATE AND COUNTY CLICK ON YOUR STATE AND COUNTY AND SEE THE NUMBER OF PILLS PER AND SEE THE NUMBER OF PILLS PER PERSON UNLEASHED ON YOUR PERSON UNLEASHED ON YOUR COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY. IT’S A REMARKABLE TOOL. IT’S A REMARKABLE TOOL. WE HAVE IT FOR SEVEN YEARS. WE HAVE IT FOR SEVEN YEARS. HOPEFULLY FOR EVERY YEAR. HOPEFULLY FOR EVERY YEAR. A LOT OF COMPANIES WANTED TO A LOT OF COMPANIES WANTED TO KEEP IT SECRET. KEEP IT SECRET. NOW WE ALL HAVE ACCESS THANKS TO NOW WE ALL HAVE ACCESS THANKS TO THE JOURNALISTS AND THANKS TO THE JOURNALISTS AND THANKS TO “THE WASHINGTON POST” AND WEST “THE WASHINGTON POST” AND WEST VIRGINIA’S CHARLESTON GAZETTE VIRGINIA’S CHARLESTON GAZETTE MAIL. MAIL. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU LOVE OR HATE I DON’T KNOW IF YOU LOVE OR HATE YOUR LOCAL PAPER OR DON’T YOUR LOCAL PAPER OR DON’T REMEMBER, BUT REGARDLESS, DO IT REMEMBER, BUT REGARDLESS, DO IT ANYWAY. ANYWAY. SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR LOCAL PAPER. SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR LOCAL PAPER. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU TO. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU TO. SEE OW MONDAY. SEE OW MONDAY. NOW JOY REED. NOW JOY REED. I TOOK YOUR FIRST 58 SECONDS. I TOOK YOUR FIRST 58 SECONDS.>>IT WAS VERY MUCH WORTH IT.>>IT WAS VERY MUCH WORTH IT. THIS IS DRUG DEALING AND YOU THIS IS DRUG DEALING AND YOU TRANSPORT THIS BACK, THESE ARE TRANSPORT THIS BACK, THESE ARE DRUG DEALERS. DRUG DEALERS. WE ARE TREATING IT BECAUSE IT’S WE ARE TREATING IT BECAUSE IT’S PRESCRIPTIONS, SOMETHING OTHER PRESCRIPTIONS, SOMETHING OTHER THAN DRUG DEALING. THAN DRUG DEALING. THIS IS MASSIVE NATIONAL DRUG THIS IS MASSIVE NATIONAL DRUG DEALING RINGS. DEALING RINGS.>>AT A CORPORATE SCALE AND WITH>>AT A CORPORATE SCALE AND WITH CORPORATE DATA MANAGEMENT TO CORPORATE DATA MANAGEMENT TO MATCH. MATCH. FOR WAL-MART TO KNOW, WAL-MART FOR WAL-MART TO KNOW, WAL-MART TO HIDE THE INFORMATION THAT TO HIDE THE INFORMATION THAT THEY HAVE 4,000 PEOPLE IN THEY HAVE 4,000 PEOPLE IN VIRGINIA, THEY SHIPPED 3.4 VIRGINIA, THEY SHIPPED 3.4 MILLION OPIOID PILLS INTO A TOWN MILLION OPIOID PILLS INTO A TOWN OF 4,000 PEOPLE OVER ONE YEAR. OF 4,000 PEOPLE OVER ONE YEAR. THEY KNEW THAT. THEY KNEW THAT. THEY HAD THAT INFORMATION AND THEY HAD THAT INFORMATION AND THEY DID IT ANYWAY AND IT GOT THEY DID IT ANYWAY AND IT GOT WORSE. WORSE. ALL THE COMPANIES KNEW IT AND WE ALL THE COMPANIES KNEW IT AND WE NEVER HAD THE DATA TO PROVE IT NEVER HAD THE DATA TO PROVE IT BEFORE. BEFORE.>>NOW WE DO AND WAL-MART IS>>NOW WE DO AND WAL-MART IS PREYING ON THE POOR. PREYING ON THE POOR. MASSIVE EPIDEMICS. MASSIVE EPIDEMICS. THEY KIND OF EXTRAPOLATE. THEY KIND OF EXTRAPOLATE. WHEN PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED, WHEN PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED, SOMETIMES THEY GO AND MIGRATE TO SOMETIMES THEY GO AND MIGRATE TO OTHER NARCOTICS. OTHER NARCOTICS. IT’S LIKE A COMBINATION OF THE IT’S LIKE A COMBINATION OF THE DRUG DEALING EPIDEMIC OF THE DRUG DEALING EPIDEMIC OF THE 1980s. 1980s. JUST CONSTANT DRUG DEALING. JUST CONSTANT DRUG DEALING. ALONG WITH THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY. ALONG WITH THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY. THEY KNEW IT WAS KILLING PEOPLE. THEY KNEW IT WAS KILLING PEOPLE. IT’S LIKE THOSE TWO SCANDALS IT’S LIKE THOSE TWO SCANDALS COMBINED. COMBINED.>>IT IS.>>IT IS. ACTUALLY THE LEGAL EFFORT AROUND ACTUALLY THE LEGAL EFFORT AROUND TRYING TO HOLD THE COMPANIES TO TRYING TO HOLD THE COMPANIES TO ACCOUNT PARALLELS THE TOBACCO ACCOUNT PARALLELS THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY INDUSTRY MORE THAN INDUSTRY INDUSTRY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. ANYTHING ELSE. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE PILLS THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE PILLS THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AS THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AS OPPOSED TO TOBACCO ARE ALL THE OPPOSED TO TOBACCO ARE ALL THE MORE DEADLY. MORE DEADLY.>>IT’S INSANE.>>IT’S INSANE.>>AND AMAZING WORK OF PUBLIC>>AND AMAZING WORK OF PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM. SERVICE JOURNALISM.>>KEEP JOURNALISM GOING.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. What percentage of these pills are legal use vs illegal use. The laws being in acted are more effective keeping the pills out of the hands of your 90 year old grandma with some pain so intense she tries to commit suicide but the doctor won’t give her what she needs because he’s afraid of losing his license and being harassed. Our laws, “ ready, fire, aim!”. Why isn’t there more harassment of politicians writing ineffective laws. Almost a rhetorical question. They are on the pay roll too. You don’t think that lobbyists from big Phar are all over Congress? Who suffers? Ask Bernie.

  2. This isn't new – my mother's doctor and the all too willing pharmaceutical industry hooked her on opioids, which eventually killed her – that was 30 years ago. There is a place for pharmaceuticals, but big pharma is a criminal enterprise.

  3. The black market is definitely a drug-dealing ring, but why can't we ever mention the patients that are being blamed for this and killed daily?

  4. do you realize the suicides due to day after day hour after hour minute after minute pain with no relief and now NO HOPE of even sometimes relief- these suicides are ALSO being COUNTED as drug overdose deaths? often it cant even be determined if accidental or on purpose. many if not most of the middle aged increase in suicide- especially working class and veterans- are mostly due to life in pain including now stigma, both suicides and accidental since many must go to the street for relief now. it seems no one cares any more. people looking to get high is nothing new, but now people who have worn their body out working hard all their life are the targets of the system and are suffering- not rich and powerful people, i am sure they have whatever pain relief they want or need, or full time hot tubs and massages etc, along with adhd and anxiety meds to enhance themselves and their children. it almost seems like someone in the shadows WANTS non rich people to die off. look at the life expectancy difference by social class- working and poor die at the age retirement is pushed to…

  5. Drug rehab is big business in the US of A can be wiped out in 12 months but the US made it illegal those who go outside the country drug free.

  6. I guess that’s why you get paid the big bucks finally waking up to the problems!! How do we occupy a country for 18+ years and they get better Poppy seeds?!

  7. Walgreens, Activis Pharma and SpecGX brought 301M to my city of 1M people. The 301:1 ratio does not exist where these company's headquarter their business. Wonder why… And No, we did not have a huge accident or a natural disaster between 2006 and 2012 that would have injured enough people to merit that ratio of opiod pills to people.
    Thank you Rachel for bringing this story to light!

  8. This scenario is gut-wrenchingly familiar. I worked as a women's health-care provider in North Carolina from 2003 until retirement in 2016. During that time, more and more pregnant women came into care as drug abusers/addicts. Also during that time, more and more pregnant women were referred to drug rehab clinics. But what the "counsellors" did during their time in "rehab" was disgusting. Sure, the women were "helped" off of Oxycontin or worse, but instead of helping avoid withdrawal and lessen chances of hurting their unborn babies by maintaining the same dose of drugs – and then after delivery helping the moms get out of their addiction – the women were prescribed Suboxone. Suboxone is no less addicting and harmful to unborn babies and their moms than other opioids. Worse yet, the doses they were prescribed were increased with each visit to alarming levels. Babies had to undergo the withdrawal their moms did not. Babies died, moms stayed addicted, families shattered. Drug tests were routine upon admission to the delivery suite so that pediatricians would know which babies would need the withdrawal protocol. Babies were drug screened when moms declared they were drug free – and babies were shown to be addicted as well. Lord help us, this has to stop!

  9. Hey! Whaddya know! There's a database to keep track of every single pill that's sold! Yet they can't even maintain a notepad & pencil to keep track of separated families!

  10. So many people have this completely wrong. A group of medications that are legally manufactured, prescribed by Physicians, distributed to Pharmacies and sold LEGALLY to people whom largely have a genuine medical need for said medication are being blamed and vilified because a small subset of society is misusing them? The Nixon crowd lost their war on pot and coke and just need a new villain. If teens in Germany start getting high on Viagra and diabetes meds will they stop selling those? I doubt it. Our government is responsible for the opioid deaths, mostly. Good, upstanding people that have been TRULY helped be this class of medication is suddenly cut off from something they have come to need, yes, NEED. It is addictive. That is a trade-off those of us living with chronic pain are forced to make. Most don't make it lightly. So when you think of a drug abuser dying of an overdose of heroin, think of your arthritic grandparents that have been taking a LEGAL pill once or twice a day suddenly having to deal with their pain using powdered heroine of unknown strength, purchased on the streets from a stranger, not knowing the dose that is equivalent to their medication, sticking that needle into their vein for the first time. Guess what happens next, all too often? I agree it is a problem, but banning it from people that need it is NOT the solution.

  11. 46 pills for every person 15 and up. If a spitball 75% of the population never haf any that year, that's almost 200 per person ever getting a perscription.

    It is of course not everyone, but it looks like for those being prescribed opioid pain killers, with masssive help from most links in the supply chain – addiction was the targeted norm, not the exception.

  12. Please don't let your compassion for the lives of addicted people lead to an outright ban of opioids. At the right doses, opioids save the lives of chronic pain patients, every day. The doctors and pharmacists are vital members of a chronic pain patient's health team. Please don't lump all patients into the addicted category or all medical professionals into the unlawful category. Thanks.

    Before Opioids & Nerve Pain Medication: Wracked with pain. Excruciating. 24/7/365Xyrs. Tormented. On the edge. Can't Think. Hermit. Shut-in. Wheelchair. Alone. Despair. Small. Useless to everyone. Making Plans.

    With Opioids & Nerve Pain Medication: Can sleep. Can Think again. Can Breathe. Lucid. Hopeful. Volunteering. Walking the dog. Writing Poetry. Laughing. Tutoring children. Making plans.

  13. You mean the Mexicans aren’t bringing them in ? !!!! Hmmmmmmmmm . FDA CIA BIG PHARMA ! This is a Nation of crash-test dummies!!!!!

  14. 2006? wasn't that the year bush passed a new law making it legal to sell soldiers pain medications? what's the chances of them making it legally nationally after realizing the profits they made on soldiers alone?

  15. seems like one of the most important things about this is missing. the Doctors who keep prescribing these pills.

  16. This should fall on the backs of the prescribing physician. A pharmacist job is to fill prescriptions. They should report red flags, but they can't tell a doctor 'no.'

  17. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? People get hooked on drugs because they follow the world view that they deserve & must have whatever they want whenever they want it & are not accountable for anything. Someone else is always to blame & society & the government must pick up the pieces.
    Sure, there are many contributing factors, but in the end each individual is responsible. Grow up & grow a pair in the process.

  18. America everyday you prove to us that you are the Big Daddy of Shithole Countries. YOU ARE DOING THIS TO YOUR OWN PEOPLE!!??!! Just let that sink in for a minute. YOU ARE TURNING YOUR POPULATION INTO DRUG DEPENDENT ZOMBIES. Is that the plan of the 1%ers all along. Each Zombie is just a vote.

  19. Got to make more money, so what if a little of the 1% human livestock, die or lives are destroyed. So What, got to make more money!

  20. WHY WE HAVENT SHOT THESE VERMAN OUT INTO SPACE YET like the TRASH THEY ARE I will never know. We just shake our heads and do nothing yo these human malignancies

  21. Which option do I tap when I'm on the ARCOS main site? EDIT: Disregard. I was trying to go thru the DEA main site–which requires a user/password. You have to go thru the Washington Post page.

  22. The system promotes the behavior. Politicians, banks, investors, stockholders, lawyers, law enforcement, the medical industry, and other "institutions" benefit from sick, addicted zombified citizens.

  23. I wish you'd leave my pain meds alone. I hurt enough. I was an "Axe-man"… Slammed by a Widowmaker, which rearranged my body… Leaving me in hellish agony. Now I'm stuck in one place, unable to get moved to another place, because it's near impossible to find another doctor. Causing more stress. I can't go away for more than 28 days. Get out of my life!

  24. iv taken opioids for chronic pain since 2007. I take as directed ALWAYS. NEVER Abused them. have tried spinal cord stem, nerve blocks, therapy other meds nothing has helped relieve the pain except opioids. due to all the drug overdose my doc has lowered my opioids mgs. so daily I get 1/2 of pain relieved and do less movement so my pain don't increase. showing the world what pharmacy sell these pills is dangerous, break ins happen more often

  25. Americans are silent and complicit.

    A hundred thousand in Hong Kong are demonstrating, Americans, mainly the Dem constituents are popping freakin' popcorn!

    The World is watching!

  26. Thank you POTUS for going after big pharma and opiod control! To bad the dems are fighting against this.

  27. Gotta love how she starts out with her random pick of anywhere in the country that just so happens to be one of the worst locations in the country…….even a real report of such a serious issue from this crap channel starts out WITH A LIE!!!! GOTTA GET THAT SHOCK VALUE IN HUH? !!!!!! MSNBC JUST SUX……

  28. Ya, my Mom was addicted by these opioids, and she didn’t even know. She was mindlessly given them for pain too frequently by uneducated caretakers. They would just give them to her every few hours…

  29. Rachel: the WAPO has NOT made this publicly available. You have to subscribe to their paper to see it. Jeff Bezos gives NOTHING away.

    New sites should not offer links to WAPO articles that are behind a paywall.

  30. there is no opiod crisis= it is made up by the big drug companies that want to sell their dangerous pain pills for 10 times the cost opioids cost. their expensive pills destroy your organs but opioids are natural and do not physical harm= only harm to those that abuse them, kie heavy drinking of booze does .

  31. SEEMS LIKE ORGANIZED CRIME! You have the producers, the distributors & the drug dealers, of highly controlled substances!

  32. Which Politicians took big money from big pharma? Directly responsible. Poisoning your own people, just as bad as Chernobyl.

  33. so stop wondering why heroin use is on the rise, and wow why all the Fentanyl more broken family,s more deaths, more money for the biggest business jailing people. GET THEM HOOKED AND CUT THE SUPPLY. STOP letting the gov. cover this stuff up . look up who in the top tier of Gov. that gets big money from big Pharm. there,s your complicit people . but its not just big Pharm . its the oil people, the nra /with rubles, foreign influence. STOP THE PAYOLA. TERRA CORAM IPSO

  34. You can be 100% sure she is misleading us in some form or another. Either leaving important facts out or lying directly like she does with every story.

  35. Big pharmas & the govt collude to make money in expense of the people. Then they turn around and blame the epidemic on street drugs.

  36. These companies should have to invest their profits in a real cure for addicts. Not just switching them to a different more expensive addictive medicine that the companies make more money from.

  37. If u look at the map and see where the most of these are being distributed at…its mostly trump country. Middle and southern America. Poor white communities are being hit the hardest. And tRump wanted us to believe that he wants to tackle this issue. He was just lying. As much as he wants to save white America from this standpoint, he is not willing. Too much money and power is involve.

  38. What's the difference between drug companies and drug cartels?
    One is legal. One is not.

    Both do the same thing to your community.

  39. See? All El Chapo ever had to do was apply for articles of incorporation, trade openly on the NYSE, then donate to a Republican PAC, and he would have been fine

  40. Yet, 10000s of people in jail from non violent minor possession charges from marijuana. Only in America

  41. Unbelievable stuff, love you Rachel! PS here is direct link to database https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/dea-pain-pill-database/?utm_term=.4d9ae72122a3

  42. In my time it was the heroin epidemic then it was the crack epidemic in between coke barbiturates and on and on…. now this

  43. Pain isn't unique to the US. you can even assume that certain places where medical services aren't as advanced or plentiful are likely to have more people who are forced to live with pain and discomfort. Yet no one pops pills like Americans. Now we know why. I think we've all had suspicions that it's the industry that is one of the major causes. But now we have the data. You don't move products with volumes like these unless there is a powerful push for it.

  44. I also blame the Doctors who give these drugs just for some money or any other favor……. Shame on the big Pharma CEO's making money on people's death.

  45. Some people actually need those pill to have a decent quality of life. For some reason our government isnt smart enough to stop the people abusing them while not hurting the ones the use them legitimately. Rachel maddow please do a story on the people being hurt by this.

  46. How about the "unconscionable" buisness of alcohol that kills four time as many peaple annually than all illegal and perscription drugs combined!? But that's ok? Lol peaple are stupid, but not as stupid as they think! Drink up! It's ok

  47. The Republican Party: „Regulations are bad for business. 😑“
    Particularly if your business is being a murderous drug dealer. Literally.

  48. This may sound stupid but how do people so strung out on these pills work or anything else? Who is taking them, how many are being taken? This information is out there too. Who is prescribing them and why. What are they getting out of it.
    Got it. It's a plot by the Sackler Family to get people in Red States so strung out on drugs that they can't think straight, rendering them easy prey to Republican political strategy.

  49. Hey! I thought it was the Mexicans who were "..bringin' drugs…". Didn't Trump say that? I swear…, I really did hear him say that.

  50. It's actually a lot like North Korea where a large portion of the population is addicted to methamphetamine (ice).
    The government over there makes it as one of their few industries to help keep the population docile and "in line" and people who have visited have come back and said that it is easier to buy the drug in restaurants than food.
    Just shows that societies are the same all over the world, it's just our surroundings and beliefs are different.

  51. Have you forgotten that these LEGAL MEDICATIONS are made for good reason? If you or a loved one are ever badly injured or get sick with a painful condition, I promise you that your memory will be quickly refreshed. Rachel is supposed to be a great investigative journalist but she failed to do her homework on this issue. The CDC states that only about 6% to 7% of pain patients become addicted. That leaves at least 93% of pain patients Do Not become addicted.  The CDC estimated that 16,000 people overdose and die from Rx pain meds and many of those did not have a prescription for those meds and had other drugs and alcohol in their systems at the time of death.

    88,000 die from alcohol poisoning, but I bet a lot of folks howling against pain pills drink alcohol without a second thought to those who become alcoholics and die.

    I live with intractable pain, autoimmune disease, and I have taken pain pills for years without ever becoming addicted or overdosing. I had a life, I was still ill and still in pain but I could manage that pain with the meds.
    Now, due to crappy reporting like this, I and countless others like me are being denied the medications that allowed us to have lives as opposed to being crippled by pain. What about us, Rachel? Do our lives matter? Do our civil and human rights matter? What about the concept of privacy between doctors and patients? That went right out the window when this media-driven hysteria began.

    Shame on Rachel Maddow and MSNBC for failing to consider the rights of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of chronic/intractable pain patients. We are not the enemy, we have done nothing wrong but we are suffering because the media won't do their research.

  52. Hey, Rachel, here's a sensational story for you, since that seems to be what you are after. Intractable pain patients are killing themselves because they cannot live in constant, high-impact pain. What kind of ghouls want to see that happen? The ignorance brought about by Simple Minded Sensation-seeking reporting like the above is only making things far worse for those who have legitimate painful conditions and truly need the medications. Throwing pain patients under the bus won't do a thing to help stop overdose deaths.

    Guess what, people can make opioids illegally and are doing so with a gusto, anyone who says legal pain medications are the problem is suffering a knee-jerk reaction to a very complex issue. That ignorance is lethal to those living in pain.
    Do you know that even cancer patients cannot get adequate pain management in many cases?  Did you know that little children are now dying in pain due to this idiotic hysteria? Do you care?

    I'm all for helping addicts, but this is a classic case of barking up the wrong tree. You are doing terrible harm to innocent pain patients who are in no way involved in the drug crisis on our streets. The sky-rocketing numbers of overdoses and deaths are NOT due to Rx pain meds. Street Fentanyl is what is killing so many and when this New Temperance League is done punishing pain patients, doctors and those who make LEGAL PAIN MEDICATIONS, there will be no hope left for those suffering in agony. PAIN KILLS TOO.
    How can you be so puffed up, indignant and full of yourself when your actions are literally killing pain patients?

  53. https://sagaciousnewsnetwork.com/pain-related-suicides-associated-with-forced-opioid-pain-medication-reductions/?fbclid=IwAR1qX6w8kkSbH2YQ0KXBP4HsahO1o274oRy0uP9O468vVk0bny3q7CSSilg

  54. I guess tracking pills for patients is much easier than cleaning up the streets of illicit drugs. Thanks to our government chronic pain patients are denied their medication and looking to streets for pain relief or just suiciding.

  55. You can't do any of this. Go ahead and try. "Paywall," "sign in/sign up" etc. No browser will allow public access to the data.

    An addition, this data is USELESS to the public. Manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies…. that's all the simple consequences of the market.

    This database is useless unless you NAME THE DOCTORS prescribing the drugs. Where is that data? The public needs to know the gatekeepers and the ones pushing the drugs directly to the victims; not the name of the stupid pharmacy where they got their prescriptions filled, or the plant where they were made. It implies that you should blame Walmart for you kid OD'ing, not the dentist down the street who actually gave him the fat bottle of dope for the price of getting a filling.

  56. Hey, Rachel. How many shots of booze were sold in that time period? 88,000 people die from alcoholism a year in the US. I am ashamed to have believed that Maddow was a great investigative journalist. This disgusts me, so clueless and hysterical and not a word about the legitimate patients who need pain meds. How dare you judge something you have NO understanding of? This sort of fanning the flames of hysteria angers me beyond measure. How dare you? Does Maddow now boast a medical degree? This is why we go to doctors when we are in pain, instead of asking idiots like Maddow what to do.

  57. Because of hacks like you I have to suffer everyday. But it is OK for obese people to get addicted to food and that is ok with everyone. There was no opioid crises when President Obama was in office. He said if there is nothing else that can be done for someone send them hope with a pill to make them comfortable. Now,  that Trump is President and stupid wife is in there it is a crisis. I will tell you right now, I will never watch your show again. Not until you come to the reality that it is not a crisis and that is a fact. I, am with Obama on this one and not TRUMP as it appears to be where you are.

  58. Stop demonizing a medication that I have legally taken since 1996. It helps me. Stop the prejudice I hear about me possibly being an addict if I go see a new doctor or if I have to go to an ER for any reason and I tell them my meds. Stop making it so much more difficult to get help.

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