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RepRisk case study
Prescription opioid crisis: Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, and Teva Pharmaceuticals

How the opioid crisis unfolded

April 2020

The opioid epidemic is a national crisis affecting public health in the US and Canada. It stems from the misuse of opioid painkillers, including prescription drugs such as oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine, which can cause feelings of euphoria, but are chemically similar to heroin and considered to be highly addictive.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention alleges that 400,000 deaths in the US resulted from opioid overdoses between 1990 and 2017, and estimates that opioid misuse costs the United States USD 78.5 billion a year. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 130 people die every day in the US as a result of the accidental misuse of opioids, equivalent to one person every 11 minutes. NIDA further reports that nearly 80 percent of heroin addicts reported using prescription opioids before they started using heroin.

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