John Oliver Shreds Pharmaceutical Industry Over America's Massive Opioid Crisis

Part of the problem: Alternative options for pain aren’t always available or covered by insurance.

With more than 250 million prescriptions written each year, there are allegedly enough opioid painkillers going around to give a bottle to every American adult and still have plenty left over. And that has John Oliver fuming.

In HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver ripped into the pharmaceutical industry for years of shady and deceptive practices that he said got Americans hooked on drugs. In a clip played during the show, one industry expert claimed the addiction was really “pseudo-addiction,” where patients weren’t actually addicted to the drug but just seeking relief.

Wow, that is so convenient,” Oliver said. “That is like Chipotle going, ‘Have you heard of this fascinating new thing called pseudo-diarrhea? It looks a lot like diarrhea but it’s not diarrhea and the cure may actually be more tacos.”

Part of the problem, an expert in the segment said, was that alternative options for pain weren’t always available or covered by insurance.

“Alternative pain treatments should be at least as easy to find as Waffle Houses,” Oliver said. “Which, like heroin, are both hazardous to your health and dangerously addictive.”

See his full takedown of Big Pharma in the clip above.

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