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Vaccine against fentanyl addiction could bring billions in rewards

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Vaccine against fentanyl addiction could bring billions in rewards

This photo is from Philadelphia, USA. There, the drug “tranq”, a mixture between fentanyl and a sedative, has become very widespread. Photo: Pontus Höök / VG

The first person to get a vaccine against opioid addiction approved could get a giant reward. – There has also been a turnaround in Norway, says the researcher.

Sunday 21 April at 16:44

The short version

  • A bill in the USA could provide NOK 10 billion in premiums for the first approved opioid vaccine.
  • 66 percent of all overdose deaths in the United States in 2021 were due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
  • A Norwegian research project is investigating a possible increase in opioid use in Norway, where more people now die from prescription opioids than from heroin.

Sea view

Two-thirds of all overdose deaths in the United States are due to fentanyl A highly potent synthetic opioid that is used as a pain reliever, but which is also associated with a high risk of overdose and addiction. . Now the country is taking new paths in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

A new bill could, if passed, give a prize of NOK 10 billion to the first to get an opioid vaccine approved.

A reward that comes in addition to all expected income from the sale of the vaccine.

107,000 people died of overdoses in the United States in 2021. 66 percent of the deaths were due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

LOST SON: Theresa Guerrero is fighting to bring attention to the fentanyl epidemic after her son Jacob died of an overdose. Photo: Thomas Nilsson / VG

The use of painkillers based on opioids has increased dramatically in the United States in recent decades, fueled by aggressive marketing from drug manufacturers, as well as the drugs becoming popular on the illegal market.

In its wake, a terrifying addiction followed among users. The epidemic rides the United States like a mare.

Also read: – The devil rules here

Super powerful

Fentanyl is effective against pain, cheap to produce, 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

The hope many cling to is that a vaccine can help many of those who have become addicted, and limit abuse nationally.

Federal authorities have contributed funding to several vaccine projects in recent years.

Now the Republican congressman David Schweikert has launched a bill that the first vaccine that is approved will be rewarded with a prize of one billion dollars – more than ten billion kroner.

Congressman

David Schweikert

Experts believe that such vaccines are not only possible, but also promising.

Similar vaccines against cocaine and nicotine have already been developed and tested on humans.

Thomas Kosten, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, tells Newsweek that a vaccine against fentanyl will probably be available within a few years.

Death toll is increasing in Norway

A large Norwegian research project will try to find out whether the use of opioids dispensed on prescription has started to develop into an epidemic in Norway as well.

– There has been a turnaround here as well. More people in Norway now die from prescription opioids than from heroin, says Ingvild Odsbu, senior researcher at the Institute of Public Health.

The so-called POINT project (Preventing an opioid epidemic in Norway: Focusing on treatment of chronic pain) extends over four years, and is financed with funds from the Research Council of Norway. It should be completed by the end of 2025.

– It is somewhat of the same development that happened in the USA at the end of the 90s, but compared to the USA, we do not have similar problems.

EMERGENCY HELP: The nasal spray Narcan is currently used as an antidote to fentanyl poisoning in the USA. Photo: Thomas Nilsson / VG

Among other things, the researchers looked at the figures for registered overdose deaths in Norway.

– We see that among those who die from this type of opioid compared to heroin, there are more who have been to the pharmacy in the last 30 days before death. It is clear that there are more people in that group who have obtained opioids on prescription, but at the same time opioids are also widely traded and used illegally, says Odsbu.

Also read: Narcotic substance detected in children in Tromsø: – Extremely dangerous

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