America’s opioid crisis is a warning to the NHS | Chris McGreal The US watchdog that is supposed to protect patients is in thrall to an industry profiting from addiction
Years into America’s opioid epidemic, as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a hearing to consider a drug company application to approve a new high-strength painkiller.
The FDA assembles advisory committees of doctors and scientists to weigh the arguments for and against new drugs. In 2012, an opioid 10 times more powerful than regular painkillers, Zohydro ER, was on the agenda. By then, no one was in any doubt about the ravages of the worst drug epidemic in US history. So far, it has claimed at least 350,000 lives. Around 150 people a day are dying in a crisis with roots in the push for the mass prescribing of opioid painkillers that took off two decades ago.
If one company was making money from a dangerous drug then others were entitled to too The Guardian