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Civil and Human Rights
How do you treat pain when most of the world's population can't get opioids?
How do you treat pain when most of the world's population can't get opioids?

In the United States, where doctors write more than 250 million prescriptions for painkillers a year, the frequency of abuse and overdose represents a public health crisis. More than 15,000 Americans died from an overdose of prescription opioids in 2013. In other parts of the world, however, the crisis is that strong painkillers such as morphine aren't available at all. More than 70% of the world's population live in countries with no access to opioids. That has been the case in India, where I am a palliative care physician. Though the situation is slowly improving as result of reforms made in 2014, most people in India can't get an opioid painkiller even when they're...

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