WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
The opioid crisis has killed nearly 500 thousand people in America in the last 20 years. The misuse of and addiction to opioid painkillers is a serious crisis that affects public health, social and economic welfare in the USA.
Recently, US prosecutors have started cracking down on pharmaceutical companies that first began advertising prescription painkillers in the 90s as ‘non-addictive’. One such company facing scrutiny is Purdue Pharma, owned by the billionaire Sackler family.
In his book ‘Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty’ Patrick Radden Keefe explains how the family that sold OxyContin, which was celebrated for its philanthropy, might have known more than we thought.
Here, Stephen Cole digs into the origins of the opioid epidemic - who is to blame? How has it evolved? And how will these court cases change the course of medical advertising in the United States?
MEET THE EXPERT
Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty.
Keefe started contributing to The New Yorker in 2006 and has written investigative narrative nonfiction on a range of subjects. He received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2014, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016.
He is also the writer and host of ‘Wind of Change’ a podcast series which investigates the connection between espionage and pop music during the Cold War.
Watch #TheAgenda in full and find out more at:
Follow CGTN Europe on social media and other platforms👇🏼