There is a prescription drug problem in America. They are basically being handed out like candy during Halloween. Now, there are no rules that govern how many prescription pills are allowed per person. There is no quota or allotment. Of course, common sense should dictate some rules but there is so much profit being generated that who wants to stop it. Pharmaceutical companies make money, distributors such as Cardinal Health and Walgreens make money and finally walk-in pharmacies make money.
Prescription Drug Abuse in the Black Market Economy
These prescription pills such as Oxycodone (Oxy) or Vicodin start legal but end up getting sold in the black market. If you look at some of the facts you can find them astonishing. Seven million people use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Keep in mind that there are an estimated about 1.5 million people addicted to cocaine. What makes this worse is that annual deaths from prescription drugs (overdose) are at about 15000. Based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC), that is more than heroin and cocaine deaths combined.
Recently, 38 Walgreen’s retail pharmacies made the DEA’s top 100 purchasers of oxycodone in Florida for 2011. There were none in 2009 from Walgreens. All of these pharmacies were serviced by the distribution facility shut down. So if the DEA noticed this, shouldn’t management at Walgreens also? Then again, with so much revenue being generated, you can’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Prescription Pill Doctors
So let’s look at the drug chain. A patient goes to the doctor and asks for a prescription of oxycodone to help alleviate the pain. If the doctor says no, he might lose his client to another doctor. A doctor, while being responsible for the health of his patients, is all responsible for his practice to ensure profitability. Chances are the patient is smart enough to go doctor hopping and pay cash for his visit. Everyone likes cash since you don’t have to report it to the government. So the doctor issues a prescription with no refill so no one thinks anything of it. Unbeknownst to the doctor, that same patient has seen 10 other doctors.
The next step is to go to the pharmacy and fill the prescriptions. You can’t go to a pharmacy with 10 prescriptions for Oxycodone. It will send a red flag to anyone watching. So you can submit one at every shift change (8-10 hours) and either sell the remaining prescriptions to other addicts or have family members join in. All in all, you end up with about 300 Oxycodone pills.
If you do the math based on 10 prescriptions, then 10x$60 (per doctor visit) = $600. Then 10 prescriptions x $80 (30 pills) = $800. The total cost is $1400. That is a lot of money, but keep in mind that each pill can go for $20-$25 on the black market. So if we take $20 a pill (300 x $20) = $6000. A net profit of $4600 in 1-2 days work and tax free. So if you do this once a week for 52 weeks, you end up with $239,200 in profit.
Are you now considering a career change?