WHO Pulled from Purdue’s Playbook, Lawmakers Say

Embattled opioid giant Purdue Pharma influenced WHO guidelines on treating pain, according to a bipartisan Congressional report released yesterday, The Washington Post reports.

The report alleges that WHO drew directly from Purdue Pharma’s opioid marketing strategies, which aimed to secure OxyContin’s dominance in the WHO’s 3-step pain treatment ladder. In tandem, the WHO increasingly recommended powerful opioids at earlier stages.

The legislators claim that Purdue and the WHO both worked on the premise that the drugs were safe, and addiction a rarity.

But now, chronic pain patients say that ramped-up prescribing limits—designed to keep opioids out of the wrong hands—are depriving them of badly needed medications, WIRED reports. Yesterday, “Don’t Punish Pain” rallies were held nationwide. On June 21, they will protest again at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

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