A pharmacist helps bust an OxyContin ring

All based on forged prescriptions:

. . . I suspect when all is said and done, we’ll be looking at several hundred thousand dollars (street value) of illegally-gotten OxyContin, if not in the millions.

For those of you that don’Â’t know, OxyContin has a street value of about $1 per milligram. That means an 80mg tablet is worth $80 on the street. That means a bottle of 100 is worth … $8000. A bottle of 100 80mg tablets costs just over $1,000 at full retail pharmacy price.

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  • sailorman

    Are you sure about that street value?

    Government folks love to inflate street value whenever possible (makes for better press) and $80 is a lot for a single dose ofmost opiates.

  • Can hardly see the point of regulation

    And it only makes a stronger case for the argument that any fool who wants these narcotics and abuse them should be able to buy them OTC. Then no one has an incentive to lie to the doc and there aren’t any gangs controlling distribution, and the worst of the addicts will snort themselves into oblivion poste haste, and the functional addicts will have access without the need to resort to crime to pay for their habit.

  • Anonymous


  • WilliamManginoMd

    Putting this article aside – let me offer the readers a little “Perspective” on this issue.

    EVERY controlled substance prescription brought to a pharmacy by a ‘new’ patient-or a patient not previously known to that pharmacist – must be called back to the doctors office for verification of authenticity.

    Many pharmacists fail to do this-from time to time. Most pharmacists do this regularly.

    There should be a ‘rule’ that every opioid prescription be filled from 9-5 so that the patient to whom the prescription was written must present himself to the regular daytime pharmacy staff.

    This simple measure would solve a lot of this problem.

  • tj

    two things- sailorman is right about street value- I’m sure that there are people who would pay $80, or more for an 80mg oxycontin, but for the most part, in urban areas where they are popular, they go for $40 an 80mg. Id imagine that if you bought a lot, the price per peice would drop- economies of scale applies here too.
    There arent really kingpins like the cocaine lords in columbia because it is sourced through a legit factory- meaning it’s impossible to get a truly large quantity reliably without an inordinate amount of risk and legwork- i.e. having many people go to the doctor and buy their prescriptions. So, you will rareley hear of high-level dealers getting busted- they just aren’t out there. I’m sure there are larger amounts being diverted, but it’s much harder than finding someone to sell you a kilo of cocaine.

    williammanginomd- you can’t do that totally, because there are many legitamate emergencies when people run out, lose medication, etc. Circumstances when someone needs to fill their script of painkillers ASAP. Remember- even the legitimate users are usually physically dependant, and will go through awful withdrawls if they don’t take their meds regularly- they aren’t addicted or misusing their prescriptions, it’s just the nature of the drug. If the condition causing the pain goes away, they can be slowly weaned off the pain meds with little discomfort, and rarely become illicit users. Anyways, you can’t keep these people from their medication arbitrarily- maybe you could have a 2 day supply available at all times, and have to pick up the rest during regular hours? This will actually cut down on the illegal market by keeping legit users from seeking other channels to get their meds.
    Make sense?

  • Anonymous

    I suffer from third stage Lyme’s Disease and use Oxycontin 40mg BID in congruence with hycodan 5mg Qid/PRN along with continual antibiotic and vitamin therapy.

    My M.D.’s have informed me that if I lose a prescription (or one is ripped off from me…or, some other lame excuse…) then I go without…they will NOT write another. I keep my prescriptions out in the open, although, I have suffered immensely (My pain along with withdrawals have lead me to tears of anguish many times.) to build a surplus of these meds that I keep under lock and key in the event that the unthinkable happens.

    As for having me report to the pharmacy every other day during normal business hours to get a two day dose…are you crazy?

    Just because I suffer from irretractable pain and am disabled does not mean that I am criminal!!!

    Just because I suffer from pain, does that mean that I need to be restricted to my immediate community to obtain a refill of a drug? Does it mean that I do not have the right to travel unrestricted? Because I suffer does it mean that I must surrender my freedom to use my time as I please instead of wasting inordinate amounts of time waiting at a pharmacy for a refill?

    What really angers me is that you people with your “war on drugs” will assault my liberties without due regard. You want to hold me personally responsible for the acts of criminals, acts which I have not committed. You people are a bunch of hypocritical communists acting under the label of conservative Republicans!!!

    I really do not wish this living hell upon anyone, even you. (…although you may deserve it.) You are so self absorbed that you cannot step outside of your own shoes for two seconds and have empathy for your fellow human being!

    Attitudes such as yours give me thoughts of a massive overdose of insulin (No Doctor, I am not a danger to myself or others just yet. I get regular counseling as a requirement of my pain management treatment and discuss these issues with him frequently.)

    Maybe then my suffering will end, the possibility of the diversion of my meds to the street will diminish, and the costs to society for my disability will end. Lots on that side of the scale to motivate me but my desire for life still marginally outweighs my desire for death (Altruism rules, but not today).

  • Anonymous


    You are right! I am 28 years old and suffer from chronic and debilitating migraines and am prescribed a medication called Opana, which is the name brand for Oxymorphone. I have been dealing with this issue for about 3 years and have been admitted to the hospital several times. Because of my age (I am young) and the disease I have (which effects far more women then men). People always give me strange looks when I try to explain my situation. When I am in the hospital for these, I beg and plead for proper pain management. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. I have had doctors who think I am doctor shopping or selling medication on the black market. I have had people who have basically called me an addict to my face! =( Why am I an addict? Because too young to have pain? Because they cant “see” the Migraine like they could a tumor or a broken bone? Because I ask for help controlling the pain? For the first 2 and a half years of this issue I prayed for death! I tried every prophalactic medication, every abortive medication, steroids, NSAIDS, Lidocne, vitamin, injections, herbal remedies, and diet changes. None stopped the headaches, and while some helped a little, I suffered 3-4 days a week. It was only when I went to a new Internist who knew I was referred by a doctor who knew that I was truthful about my headaches that I finally was referred to a Anesthesiologist (for those of you that don’t know, Pain management is a subspecialty of Anesthesiology) for the treatment of my headaches. While I had to sign a contract to a for treatment (saying i consent to random drug tests, informing the police if my medication was stolen, waive my rights for confidentiality if the Feds ask questions, only using one pharmacy, only receiving medication from them, etc.). I did it. For those of you that think I am an addict, Piss off! When I am not in pain, I don’t take my medication! Just because I take narcotics doesn’t make me an addict. Narcotics aren’t horrible thing that will rob me of my life the moment I let my guard down. In fact, Narcotics have given me a new chance at life. I feel that, if I would not have started this medication, I could have committed suicide as I was honestly thinking about it. Understand, I didn’t want my life to end, I just didn’t want to be in pain. The medications give me a way to fight and control the pain rather then feeling helpless and powerless. People in pain have rights too! I think everyone has the right to live their life in the highest standard they can. This means they should be able to live their life as free of pain as possible and with their integrity. People don’t look at the millions of people who need a sleeping pill to sleep as addicts. Why are Pain Management patients always under the microscope. Stop looking at us at addicts! Look at yourselves! Cut the caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and chocolate before you turn to us all holier then thou! What harm are we doing to society? Think about it!

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