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Opioids are ravaging the U.S., but they’re still the best pain drug we’ve got

For more than two decades, drugmakers, doctors and patients have been looking for a better pain medication than opioids, which have ravaged families and local communities with their addictive powers.

It’s a wide open field and a multi-billion dollar market opportunity, yet startlingly little progress has been made.

America’s opioid addiction crisis has prompted efforts to treat patients and prevent deaths. But pain is a more difficult prescription. People experience pain very differently, which makes studying pain relief a complicated process.

The quest has seemed so elusive that it has drawn comparisons to the Holy Grail and the unicorn.

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