St. Mary’s County, Maryland — St. Mary’s County is part of a national lawsuit that seeks damages from opioid manufacturers and distributors as well as from pharmacies for their part in addiction epidemic. 

As part of that lawsuit, the county has released some scary numbers about the number of opioids prescribed in the county. According to the St. Mary’s County Health Department, 31 people in the county died from opioid overdoses in 2018 and 238 visited emergency departments with opioid-related emergencies as well as 263 EMS responses to opioid incidents.

Using information from ARCOS (Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders) —the DEA’s reporting system for controlled substance transactions, the county’s trial team has gone over the statistics and released some frightening numbers.

Although county population averaged 104,000 people from 2006 to 2012, 32 million doses of opioids were dispensed, mostly hydrocodone and oxycodone (78 percent of all opioids distributed in the county). The main manufacturers were SpecGx, Par Pharma, and Actavis Pharma.

Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation led the list of distributors, followed by Wal-Mart, and other distributors. The top distributors of hydrocodone were CVS, Cardinal Health, and other distributors.

According to ARCOS information, the top pharmacies for distribution were: 

The top 10 pharmacies distributing the drugs were as follows:

  1. CVS (3 DEA licenses) – combined total of 7,312,798 total dosage units (TDU)/81,850,946 MME
  2. Tidewater – 5,897,971 TDU/126,990,436 MME
  3. Rite Aid (2 DEA licenses) – combined total of 2,941,297 TDU/42,378,804 MME
  4. Target Stores – 2,760,600 TDU/42,561,736 MME
  5. St. John’s Pharmacy – 2,501,176 TDU/40,512,469 MME
  6. Wal-Mart – 2,407,207 TDU/27,652,890 MME
  7. Thrift Drug (2 DEA licenses) – combined total 1,843,556 TDU/31,094,291 MME
  8. Giant Pharmacy – 1,460,690 TDU/24,084,282 MME
  9. McKay’s Pharmacy (3 DEA licenses) – combined 766,707 TDU/8,696,760 MME
  10. Reynolds Pharmacy – 603,292 TDU/11,248,898 MME

According to a statement in the press release containing the data, “St. Mary’s County is aggressively preparing for trial in order to recover damages now being suffered by the taxpayers and also to mandate a change as to how these drugs are marketed and distributed in our County.”