A new medical breakthrough in southern Russia could hold the key in solving America’s opioid epidemic.
Scientists at Volgograd Sate Medical University are launching clinical trials into a pain-killing drug which outperforms morphine, and does not cause addiction. This would be a big step in the right direction, as the crisis in the United States spirals out-of-control.
In late October, President Trump addressed the nation outlining that the opioid crisis is now a ‘public health emergency’. Here are some mind-numbing facts indicating America has a major problem and if not fixed soon, it could produce major strains on the economy and healthcare system.
- In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids.
- Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.
- Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths.
- In 2015, there were 52,404 drug overdose deaths — 33,091 of those deaths, almost two-thirds, involved the use of opioids.
- The situation has only gotten worse, with drug overdose deaths in 2016 expected to exceed 64,000.
- This represents a rate of 175 deaths a day.
Department head of the Volgograd State Medical University, and RAS Member Alexander Spasov told TASS about this innovative medical breakthrough last Friday in Pyatigorsk, Russia.
“Together with our colleagues from the South Federal University, we created a drug which still has no specific name but is only referred to as RU-1205. Based on its effect, it outperforms such well-known painkillers as morphine and promedol and does not cause addictive side effects. Now, a full round of preclinical studies has been completed, and we are negotiating with two plants that are supposed to bankroll clinical research and initiate industrial production. At present, there isn’t a similar drug like this anywhere in the world,” Spasov announced at the 3rd International Research and Practice Conference on Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.
TASS also interviewed clinical pharmacologist at Russia’s Ministry of Healthcare, RAS Member, Dean of Volgograd State Medical University Vladimir Petrov who highlighted RU-1205 “holds special significance for medicine”.
“A pain-killing drug, which outperforms morphine, and does not cause mental or physical addiction, is a huge breakthrough. This medication may set off a small revolution in pharmacology. It will save patients from subsequent addiction, it takes away the possibility of a drug habit setting in, which occurs when using morphine products over the long term,” Spasov said.
This could be a major blow to the Sackler family who has made billions selling OxyContin in the United States through Purdue Pharma since 1995. Some reports indicate the family has been a major contributor to the opioid crisis and there are no plans in stopping the flood of drugs onto city streets.
There are even reports Purdue is rapidly moving into Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other regions, and pushing for broad use of painkillers that are highly addictive in places that are unprepared for the side-effects of addiction.
So far, RU-1205 is out of preclinical studies headed to the next phase of clinical research, then production. The idea that RU-1205 is a very real candidate in solving America’s opioid epidemic shows there is hope, but the drug could be a ways out before production indicating the crisis will deepen further.
If the miracle drug is ever cleared then goes into production, there is just one question we ask: Will the United States allow the Russians to fix the opioid crisis?