tisdag 10 september 2013
Around 178 000 fatalities due to Darvon and Darvocet in US in 29 years
We estimate that as many as around 178 000 persons in US can have been poisoned to death due to the painkilling substance Propoxyphene during the years 1982-2010 (29 years).The best known trademarks have been Darvon and Darvocet.
The consumption in kg of DXP during these years are 2 153 387 kg (2). An average consumption per year was 74 255 kg, and the number of fatalities during every year could be 74 255/12=6,188 people.
The number of prescriptions on Propoxyphene during the years 2000-2010 (11 years) were 244 828 000 – average per year was 22 250 000 prescriptions (3). During the rest of the years when the drug was available - 1957-1981 - we have no figures on consumption or no prescription data in US.
These data was presented at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC by Dr Ulf Jonasson, Sweden. Drs Ulf and Birgitta Jonasson have studied the painkilling substance Propox-yphene (DXP) more than 20 years and now – for the first time ever - presented comprehensive data from the years 1982 – 2010.
During the year 1982–2005 (24 years) the consumption of DXP in Sweden amounted 48 639 kg.(1,2) Applying the Raito of 12.05 of DXP per fatality we estimate that some 4,503 people died as a result of DXP use during the 24 years 1982-2005. This equated to 162 people a year.
India has been the second biggest consumer of Propoxyphene – next to the US – and when applying the Swedish reference ratio of 12,05 kg DXP consumed fatality suggest that there have been 134 383 fatalities in India between 1985-2011 (27) as a result of DXP use. The consumption was 1,613,539, an average of 59,727 kg/year. This equates to an average of 4,977 fatalities a year.
The basic data in Drs Jonasson studies is from Forensic Medicine in Sweden during the years 1992-1999 (8 years). The consumption of DXP in Sweden during the eight years was 19,185 kg, 2,398 kg per year. This can be broken down further to give the average consumption in kg per individual death; 2,398 kg a year caused 199 fatalities per year. For every 12,05 kg consumed one person died.
Propoxyphene is now banned in most parts of the world. Banning the drug was first done in Sweden in three stages from 2001 and March 2011, in UK the drug phased out from 2007, in EU (European Union, 27 countries) from 2009 – 2011, in US the drug was banned in November 2010 and in May 2013 the substance finally was banned in India.
The consumption in the world was during 1985-2011 a total of 6 282 620 kg, which could mean that 523 000 persons could have been poisoned to death. No consumption data 1957-1984 (28 years) were available.
Sources: 1). Data from the National Board of Forensic Medicine. (Sweden). 2) Data from INCB – International Narcotic Control Board – consumption figures about DXP during the years 1982 – 2010. (Vienna, Austria).3) Data from DrugTopics, we use data from “Top 200 Generic Drug by Prescription from the years 2000 – 2011 about DXP. (US). 4). Data from Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in Florida. We used data from ”Drugs identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Examiners”. (US) and from Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Annual Report. (US)
Ulf Jonasson, Doctor in Public Health Birgitta Jonasson, PhD