Painful Disparity in Opioid Access

The glut of opioids fueling America’s epidemic is scuppering access to the drugs in poor countries suffering from severe pain more than opioid abuse.

The US rakes in 31 times the necessary narcotic pain-relievers, legal or illegal; Haiti gets less than 1% of what is needed, according to a study published in the Lancet.

Uganda is an anomaly: through a private, government-endorsed program, specially-trained nurses deliver morphine, helping it reach 11% of those in need—a small number but an impressive achievement.

Just $145 million a year would relieve end-of-life pain worldwide—but low profit-margins for inexpensive generics are a disincentive for Big Pharma.

The New York Times

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