One Stepfather’s Quest: The Search For An Opioid That Won’t Lead To Addiction
Bill Crossman's interest has been captured by a drug that binds to three opioid receptors instead of one and is intended to be superior to the sorts of painkillers that have played a central role in a growing national drug epidemic. Meanwhile, a recent study confirms that prescribing practices have contributed greatly to the crisis.
How A Stepson’s Addiction Drove A Father To Try To Develop A Safer Opioid
Bill Crossman is an unlikely candidate to run a pharmaceutical firm. The 71-year-old Connecticut businessman had spent decades growing a diverse collection of companies making everything from elevators to eco-friendly products. He had never run a drug company — and had little to no experience in the industry. But Crossman’s long-lasting struggle to help his stepson overcome an opioid use disorder drove him to search for answers. A scientist who started Phoenix Pharma Labs, a tiny private drug company, introduced Crossman to an opioid he believed could someday treat pain well without increasing risk of addiction. (Blau, 11/28)
How Opioids Started Killing Americans
More than half of all people who succumbed to an overdose between 2001 to 2007 were chronic pain sufferers who filled an opioid prescription and sometimes even saw a doctor in the month before they died. Only 4 percent were ever diagnosed as having an abuse problem, said Dr. Mark Olfson, one of five researchers who conducted a massive study of the crisis and its causes for Columbia University Medical Center. The findings of the new study, published Tuesday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, split the epidemic into two groups: those who were diagnosed with chronic pain and those who weren’t. In the year before they died, about two-thirds of those studied were diagnosed with chronic pain and prescribed an opioid. (Rausch, 11/28)