To many, how and why the opioid epidemic came about remains a mystery. How did these dangerous and addictive substances earn approval for distribution? Why were these drugs approved if they were clearly so addictive and dangerous? Why has our legal system taken so long to react to a crisis that began in the early 2000s?  

We continue uncovering the answers to those questions in the second episode in our three-part series on American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts, with award-winning author Chris McGreal. Together, we uncover the extent of the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over the FDA, the drug approval process, and Congress.

With special commentary from the former chair of the FDA advisory committee, Dr. Nathaniel Katz, former California Congresswoman Mary Bono, the former attorney general of West Virginia Judge Darrell McGraw, and Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers, we walkthrough congress’ early actions against deceptive pharmaceutical practices, as our nation’s worst health crisis emerged.

Listen to today’s podcast for Part 2 of our American Overdose discussion, with bestselling author Chris McGreal.