Is America’s opioid epidemic coming to Europe?

Policymakers warned of threat after opiate addiction kills more than half a million in US

Somebody tries to revive a man who overdosed on heroin in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, a hub for heroin addicts. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Somebody tries to revive a man who overdosed on heroin in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, a hub for heroin addicts. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

American politicians and scientists are issuing strident warnings to policymakers in Europe and around the world, urging them to prevent an epidemic of opiate addiction like the one that has killed more than half a million Americans in 15 years.

A letter signed by 12 members of US Congress to the World Health Organisation in May emphasised the responsibility of Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its arm abroad, Mundipharma International.

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