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In the new book, American Cartel, Higham and co-author Sari Horwitz make the case that the pharmaceutical industry operated like a drug cartel, with manufacturers at the top; wholesalers in the middle; and pharmacies at the level of "street dealers."
From 2006 to 2012, 76 billion opioid-based pills flooded into the nation. Washington Post journalist Scott Higham writes about the apparent disregard of manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies to keep the pills coming despite evidence of the misuse of these drugs.