Indian Nursing Homes Peddle Addictive Painkiller
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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.