Settled but not resolved: what next for the opioid crisis?

About this ThinkIn

Tortoise’s first ever story reported from the North East of England, where the relationship between prescription opioid use and social trauma is especially striking. The question is why?

In this ThinkIn we’ll return to our original story in the light of the potential multi-billion dollar settlement of the cases against Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin. Purdue Pharma, controlled by the wealthy Sackler family, is facing charges of conspiracy, violations of an anti-kickback law and misbranding. We’ll investigate how the pandemic has affected prescription and dependency rates in the UK and US, and whether the potential settlement, if it happens, teaches us anything about the causes and status of the opioid crisis here in the UK.


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editor

James Harding
Co-founder and Editor

Jane Ballantyne
Professor of anaesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, and one of the lead researchers on opioids and pain treatment in response to the opioids crisis.

Cathy Stannard
Pain medicine consultant in Complex Pain and Pain Transformation Programme Clinical Lead for NHS Gloucestershire CCG, and one of the leading researchers in the UK.

Jonathon Tomlinson 
GP and medical educator in Hackney, East London. He is a member of the London ACEs hub and the Centre for Health and The Public Interest and is working with patients to teach professionals about trauma informed care and chronic pain. He blogs about the relationships between doctors, patients and health policy at ABetterNHS.net.