Associated Press Published

13 Million Fewer Hydrocodone Pills Dispensed Last Year


West Virginia pharmacies are dispensing significantly fewer doses of the state’s most popular prescription painkiller, hydrocodone.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that according to new data from the state’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Program, the number of prescribed hydrocodone products dropped by nearly 13 million tablets last year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had put tighter restrictions on the medication, which has been linked to hundreds of overdose deaths in West Virginia over the past decade.

Mike Goff, an administrator at the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, says prescriptions of hydrocodone pills will likely drop by another 9 million by the end of this year.

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation.