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The percentage of people in the U.S. dying of drug overdoses has effectively quadrupled since 1999, and drug overdoses now rank as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.

Drugs do exist to reverse opioid overdoses or treat long-term opioid addiction. But while opioids have become easier and easier to obtain through illicit markets and sellers on the dark web, a drug that could save countless lives has become increasingly out of reach.

Consider the addiction treatment drug, Suboxone. Patents and other exclusivities on the basic version of Suboxone expired some time ago, yet the price remains sky-high, and access problems persist. Oral film strips now cost over US$500 for a 30-day supply; even simple tablets cost a whopping $600 for a 30-day supply. The cost alone puts the medication out of reach for many.

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Image By Jr de Barbosa – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33274370

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