Charles Horton

Charles Horton is a graduate of the WJI Mid-Career Course.

Jessica Hill/AP

Anatomy of an epidemic

Drug Abuse | Diagnosing the causes of the opioid crisis 
by Charles Horton
Posted 2/28/19, 01:46 pm

Massachusetts officials are suing Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, alleging that its sales tactics fueled a surge in opioid addiction. Massachusetts is also suing the Sackler family, which owns and runs Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit underscores the controversy over the pills: Did the increase in opioid prescriptions reflect doctors finally addressing untreated pain or becoming tools for sales at any cost?

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Death wishes

Medicine | Severely ill patients are more than collections of usable organs
by Charles Horton
Posted 8/16/18, 03:19 pm

Alfie Evans died on April 28 at 23 months old, and the British boy’s case has reopened old questions: Who has the right to veto further care? What happens where conflicts of interest arise, as when Terri Schiavo’s husband fought to withhold water and nutrition while living with another woman and standing to inherit over $700,000 from his wife’s medical trust fund? And most fundamentally: What is life, or quality of life?

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Mary Altaffer/AP

Pricing power?

Medicine | Corporate and nonprofit groups hope to bring down the cost of lifesaving drugs
by Charles Horton
Posted 8/02/18, 09:43 am

As the opioid crisis rages on, police officers in many areas have one more weapon: New laws permit them to give the rescue drug Narcan (naloxone) to overdose victims without waiting for paramedics. It works, and it saves lives—Leana Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore City, credits the drug with saving 14,000 people since 2015 in her city alone. But that success comes at a cost, and Wen goes on to state in a Washington Post op-ed that her city is now rationing the drug.

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