Indian Nursing Homes Peddle Addictive Painkiller

By Fionna Agomuoh 03/15/12

Police in India suspect nursing homes of exploiting addicted youths to turn an easy profit.

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Pentozocine is kept under close watch,
Photo via

The US is far from the only country with a prescription drug problem. Drug-addicted youths in India are turning to nursing homes to supply them with their fix. One opiate painkiller called Pentozocine, is particularly sought-after. It costs nursing homes just six Rupees per injected dose to buy Pentozocine in bulk from wholesalers; it's commonly prescribed by doctors to patients who have had surgery. But somehow the drug often winds up being sold to addicts at 50 Rupees (about $1) per injection. Police in Andhra Pradesh state suspect that addicted youths have befriended nursing home staff as other supply routes dry up; most medical retail stores in the area refuse to sell the drug because they're closely watched by police and undergo monthly inspections by the drug control department. “We collect the details of Pentozocin drug sales from the traders every month and keep vigil on the buyers who purchase in bulk quantity,” says T. Ravi Kumar, Assistant Director of the Drug Control Administration. Nursing homes remain far less regulated.

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Fionna Agomuoh is a tech writer and product reviewer, as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fionna previously worked at several media companies, including Newsweek Media Group and Business Insider. Find her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.