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Beset By Lawsuits And Criticism In U.S., Opioid Makers Eye New Market In India

The owner of an art gallery in Connecticut dropped off a 10-foot sculpture of a heroin spoon at the headquarters of nearby Purdue Pharma, the corporation that manufactures Oxycontin. PHOTO: The Mind Unleashed/Susan Dunne/Hartford Courant/AP

What began in India as a populist movement to bring inexpensive morphine to the diseased and dying poor has paved the way for a booming pain management industry. Now, new customers are being funneled to U.S. drugmakers bedeviled by a government crackdown back home.

By Sarah Varney | 28 August 2019

This story is the first in a two-part series. Read part two here: “In India’s Slums, Painkillers Part Of Daily Routine.”

KAISER HEALTH NEWS — Pain, like death, is a universal phenomenon. …

Storefront for-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and other cities in this teeming nation. After decades of stringent narcotics laws, borne of debilitating opium epidemics of centuries past, India is a country ready to salve its pain.

And American pharmaceutical companies — architects of the opioid crisis in the United States and avid hunters of new markets — stand at the ready to feed and fuel that demand. …

Purdue Pharma’s international affiliate, Mundipharma, “is very good at co-opting regulators,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. “As happened in the U.S., they are easily converted into useful idiots.” […]

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