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News & Press: Pharmacy Ownership

As Overdoses Soared, Nearly 35 Billion Handled by 15% of Pharmacies

Monday, August 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
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By the time Clinton County coroner Steve Talbott arrived at the scene of an overdose in southern Kentucky, the bottles of prescription pain pills usually had vanished. Friends and relatives of the dead rarely had answers to Talbott’s questions: What kind of pills did they take and where did they come from?

A toxicology report often answered the first question. It was the second one that typically eluded Talbott. As overdose deaths soared, Talbott repeatedly called the state police, hoping they could identify the source of opioids poisoning his community, nestled in the foothills along the Tennessee border.

Now, with the release and analysis of a federal database tracking every pain pill sold in the United States at the height of the opioid crisis, one Clinton County pharmacy has come into sharp focus: Shearer Drug, located less than two miles from the funeral home that Talbott runs in Albany, Ky. The family-run pharmacy purchased nearly 6.8 million pills that contained hydrocodone and oxycodone from 2006 through 2012 — enough to give 96 pills each year to every person in the county of roughly 10,000 residents.

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