The United States is grappling with one of its worst-ever drug crises. More than 1,500 people per week die from opioid-related overdoses, a toll that has spiked across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, millions more Americans suffer from opioid addiction.
Although the problem started with the over prescription of legal pain medication, it is now transitioning to a cheap heroin and synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, supplied mostly by foreign-based drug cartels. The opioid is not only a strain on the economy but a threat to national security, costing the country tens of billions of dollars annually in health-care expenses but also in the form of a weakened workforce.
Science Writers in New York is excited to have as our guest author and award-winning investigative journalist Gerald Posner (@geraldposner), whose latest book, Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America (March 2020, Simon and Schuster) is being turned into a six-part series on Showtime that will air later this year.
Gerald will talk to SWINY co-chair David Levine (@dlloydlevine) about the origins of the opioid crisis and the role of the Sackler family and others in the pharmaceutical industry. He will also talk about his role as an advisor to the Hulu series Dopesick and the upcoming Showtime documentary based on his book Pharma.