Drug restrictions cause more drug deaths




To Save Lives, Make Naloxone an Over-the-Counter Drug



Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers slips extra payments to Washington drugmaker into budget



Oxycontin Maker Quietly Worked to Weaken Legal Doctrine That Could Lead to Jail Time for Executives



Senate Republicans Kept Provision to Fight High Drug Prices Out of Spending Bill, Democrats Say

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act, known as the CREATES Act and co-sponsored by members of both parties, was rumored to be a part of budget negotiations until the final days. It would have given generic drug companies the tools to end a practice whereby brand-name manufacturers unnecessarily delay the ability of rivals to bring their products to market.



Evidence That Pain Pills Aren’t Causing An Epidemic

As Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, noted in a 2016 New England Journal of Medicine article, “addiction occurs in only a small percentage of persons who are exposed to opioids—even among those with preexisting vulnerabilities.” A 2010 review found that less than 1 percent of patients taking opioids for chronic pain experienced addiction. A 2012 review likewise concluded that “opioid analgesics for chronic pain conditions are not associated with a major risk for developing dependence.” Volkow found that “rates of carefully diagnosed addiction have averaged less than 8% in published studies.”

The risk of fatal overdose is even lower. A 2015 study that had followed pain patients treated with narcotics for up to 13 years found that one in 550 died from an opioid-related overdose, which is a risk of less than 0.2 percent. A study of opioid-related deaths in North Carolina found 478 fatalities among 2.2 million residents who were prescribed opioids in 2010, making the annual rate 0.022 percent.