The statistics from 2010 are alarming:
- 254 million prescriptions for opioids were filled in the U.S. (Wall Street analysts Cowen & Co.)
- Enough painkillers were prescribed to “medicate every American adult around the clock for a month” (The Federal Centers for Disease Control)
- It estimated that “nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.”
- Opioids generated $11 billion in revenues for pharmaceutical companies (via market research firm Frost & Sullivan).
- 25% of opioid users meet the criteria for addiction (Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing)