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[Comment] Avoiding globalisation of the prescription opioid epidemic

In May, 2017, 12 members of the US Congress wrote to the then WHO Director-General Margaret Chan to warn of an expanding international drug epidemic fuelled by what they called a “reckless”, “greedy”, and “dangerous” organisation.1 The subject of their letter was the US-based opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma and its global counterpart Mundipharma International. The Congressional authors of the letter represent regions of the USA that have been hard hit by the nationwide epidemic of opioid overdose and addiction,2 and their warning demands urgent attention across the world.