They hoped that the drug would stop Alzheimer’s before it started—but “crushing” results have shown that 2 experimental drugs failed to slow cognitive decline.  The study, led by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, involved healthy subjects with a rare…

If two people addicted to opioids help each other acquire drugs, and one of them dies of an overdose from those drugs—should the other be charged for murder? Yes, say a growing number of US prosecutors. These “overdose homicide” charges can also be a comfort to families…

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.  

There are 120+ safe consumption sites for controlled substances around the world—but none in opiod-battered US cities.   But after a court victory for a planned facility in Philadelphia, momentum is growing.   Baltimore is one city proposing new sites—but Maryland Gov.…

Every year fake medicines kill more than 120,000 children in Africa, which accounts for the bulk of substandard and fake medical products detected worldwide, Quartz Africa reports.   7 African countries are showing fresh political will to stop the scourge.  

Countries should fight public health threats with the same vigor they use to tackle terrorism, WHO warns in a roundup of the top health challenges of the next decade.   Highlights from the list (in no particular order): 

The FDA is approving new drugs faster and with less evidence of their safety and effectiveness, according to a new JAMA study

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

Tramadol was long considered a safer opioid. But as addiction to the painkiller sweeps across poor countries worldwide, its dangers have become abundantly clear.   In Mali, children walk the streets high on the drug. Nigerian officials say addiction there is more pervasive…

What’s thought of as “the opioid crisis” is actually several simultaneous—and sometimes overlapping—epidemics.    A new Rural Sociology study of death certificates found that different drugs caused overdoses in different regions: