Opioids have improved the lives of millions of people across the United States who are living with serious illnesses like cancer and acute pain. But they have also caused the deadliest drug crisis in American history - and over the past decade - killed nearly 90 Americans every day.
Although prosecutors have zeroed in on a handful of pharmaceutical companies, full accountability is still a distant dream. On this edition of The Agenda, Stephen Cole looks at how the crisis started, what the world can do to resolve it and find justice for the millions who have been affected.
So how did prescription pain medication turn into an epidemic of heroin and fentanyl? Stephen speaks to author Patrick Radden Keefe about his new book ‘Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty’ and digs into whether the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing opioids knew what they were doing.
Plus - how can we ensure that the patients who need opioids can still get access to them without facing addiction. Stephen speaks to anaesthetics and pain medication expert Dr Jane Quinlan about whether regulation is the way out of the opioid crisis.
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