In City of Vancouver, a pilot program began in providing Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used to manage severe pain (it is about 50-100 times more potent than morphine). Public Health Agency of Canada | Agence de la santé publique du Canada finances the program and it is all legal – with the goal of harm reduction for those in need of the drug. This approach is aimed to reduce deaths and severe illnesses from illicit drugs by making the drugs safer for people who use them.
Last year, over 20+ United States Attorneys’ Offices reject the current bankruptcy plan offered by Purdue Pharma L.P., who have ongoing claims against them for their role in the opioid epidemic in United States. This addiction crisis in the US has killed more than 450,000 Americans.
Today’s thoughts may be deeply controversial in the United States, but how can we provide harm reduction (ie reduce the overdoses) while at the same time providing quality care for those in need of such potent pain medication?