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US 'Big Pharma' Lobby Against Government | Bosnia-Herzegovina to Join EU

Drug companies in the US have spent almost $900 million over the last ten years, lobbying against restrictions on opiate prescription drugs; and, the European Union has officially accepted a membership application from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An investigation by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity, has shed light on the extent to which big pharmaceutical companies influence public policy on prescription opiate painkillers. Over the last ten years, drugs companies in the US are thought to have spent around $880 million lobbying against restrictions on opiate drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl and Percocet.

We speak to  Liz Whyte, Center for Public Integrity, Washington and Professor Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and former Senior Policy Adviser at the White House.

The European Union has officially accepted an application for membership from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and will now examine whether the nation meets all the necessary requirements to join. 

Given the complex political and governmental system that has been in place since the signing of the peace agreement, just how big a step is this for the Eastern European nation? We speak to author and scholar, Dr Igor Stiks from the University of Edinburgh.

You can find previous editions of World in Focus here.

Tune in to Radio Sputnik five days a week for Sputnik’s daily current affairs program, broadcasting live from Edinburgh Scotland, with Jack Foster and Carolyn Scott.

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