In 2012, the total sales of prescription painkillers in the United States was reported to be $9.38 Billion. Sales of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin represented $2.81 Billion of the sales, almost 30 percent of all painkillers dispensed.
Law enforcement officials and health experts believe that the black market in prescription drugs contributes to the high sales. In 2010, a reported 16,652 people in the United States died due to overdosing on opioid painkillers, based on monitoring by public health programs.
Source: Samuel Adams, “Florida Pain Victims Trapped By Drug Crackdown,” Bloomberg Businessweek, August 16, 2013.