Opioid makers teamed up with a tech company to create a computer pop-up alert system designed to maximize—and extend—prescriptions to the addictive painkillers, a government investigation revealed this week, Los Angeles Times reports.  

Physicians’ bias against black Americans meant they received fewer opioid prescriptions than whites in recent years, potentially saving thousands of lives. 

They live in the country that spends by far the most on health care—yet for the past decade more young Americans have been dying in the prime of their lives. A “strikingly bleak” JAMA report counted 33,000 “excess deaths” since 2010, and the trend spans gender, racial and…

Opioids have become synonymous with addiction, overdose and endless tragedy in the US—but in Uganda, low-tech, non-addictive doses of liquid morphine offer an affordable solution for poor people in extreme pain.   Touted as easier to make than a cup of coffee, the powdered…

Doctors must step up to protect people with drug-use problems in the current political climate, Pamela Das and Richard Horton urge in a Lancet editorial.  

In The Gambia, powerful pain killers are hard to come by—generic versions of Tylenol and Advil are the primary option, even at the main hospital in the capital, Banjul.   That does not deter nurses like Nadia Drammeh.   Many of her patients—80-90%, she estimates—walk in…

The DEA was—and is—ill-equipped to manage US opioid supply, according to a damning Justice Department report tracking the agency’s actions over the past 2 decades as the US addiction crisis escalated.   The DEA knew about the spiraling crisis in the 1990s, but on the agency…

A judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay Oklahoma $572 million yesterday in a landmark ruling on the corporation’s role in the state’s opioid crisis, The New York Times reports.   Judge Thad Balkman lambasted the company for “false, misleading, and dangerous marketing…

This afternoon an Oklahoma judge will deliver a landmark ruling that will determine Johnson & Johnson's responsibility for the opioid epidemic in the state—to the tune of $17.2 billion in possible damages, CNN reports.  

Across the MENA region, tramadol abuse is on the rise.  The synthetic opioid is 1/10th the strength of morphine and lightly regulated. But it’s not benign. Tramadol causes a heroin-like euphoria with high addiction potential and dangerous side-effects including aggression…