Doctors prescribed nearly 203 million opioid pills in Santa Clara County from 2006 to 2012, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of federal data.
The study of 380 million prescriptions conducted by the Washington Post offers a county-by-county glimpse of the opioid crisis that swept the nation over the past decade. It shows that in this county alone, doctors prescribed painkillers at a per-capita rate of 16 pills a person over a seven-year period.
That’s far fewer than most parts of the Bay Area, according to the newspaper’s findings. Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties all saw an influx of prescription painkillers that amounted to more than 30 pills a person for each of the seven years included in the analysis. Alameda County saw the highest in the nine-county region: close to 618 million, or an average of about 60 pills per capita.
In this county, more than 57 million pain pills were distributed by AmerisourceBergen Drug and nearly 76 million were manufactured by Actavis Pharma. Pharmerica Mountain View received the highest number of pills of any competitors in the region.
Statewide during the study’s timeframe, California fielded nearly 8.1 billion pain pills from distributors. Nearly 1.8 billion were distributed by AmerisourceBergen and nearly 2.8 billion were made by Actavis. Topping the list in terms of most pills received throughout the state was the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Livermore.
“The Post is making this data available at the county and state levels in order to help the public understand the impact of years of prescription pill shipments on communities,” the newspaper wrote a story published late last week.
To peruse the WaPo report, click here.