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REPORT: Purdue Pharma, Which Makes Oxycontin, Just Acquired a Patent for Buprenorphine to Curb the Opioid Epidemic

No shame.
Purdue Pharma, opioid crisis

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 24: A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in the Kensington section of Philadelphia which has become a hub for heroin use on January 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over 900 people died in 2016 in Philadelphia from opioid overdoses, a 30 percent increase from 2015. As the epidemic shows no signs of weakening, the number of fatalities this year is expected to surpass last year's numbers. Heroin use has doubled across the country since 2010, according to the DEA, part of an epidemic. Officials from Philadelphia recently announced that they want to become the first U.S. city to allow supervised drug injection sites as a way to combat the opioid epidemic. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

More than 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017. That death count is higher than the yearly death tolls from HIV, car crashes or gun deaths. According to the CDC, 48,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the last year. Since 2013, 170,000 opioid-related deaths have occurred. The death toll, as caused by opioids, is staggering and epidemic. It’s tremendously ironic that a company largely credited for contributing to the addiction epidemic would now want to profit from its treatment.

As that death toll related to overdose and addiction continues to rise, something needs to be done on a systemic level. We need a solution based on new health initiatives, public health, and stigmatization, rather than allow the company which largely created the problem to continue to profit from it.

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    Chris Heide is the recipient of the Kaplan Award for Narrative Journalism and is the co-Founder and ... keep reading