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:

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…

How did Purdue Pharma sidestep widespread criticism for so long? As suspicions—and lawsuits—mounted around its blockbuster painkiller, OxyContin, the company deployed a massive PR machine to second-guess bad press about opioids. Purdue funded studies, think tanks, and pain…

In 2009, an estimated 3% of women Afghanistan were addicted to opium or heroin; by 2015, that had climbed to 9.5%, the UN says. And in 2015, 9.2% of children tested positive for at least one drug. Some wives were introduced opium by husbands who gave it to them during…