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As opioid manufacturers sort through their share of lawsuits in the U.S., those companies are fueling the rise of India's painkiller market, the Guardian reports with Kaiser Health News.

The big picture: Indians have in the past viewed pain as something to be suffered through, but that mindset is changing, and the result is eerily similar to the early stages of what Americans now consider a crisis.

  • The spread of pain clinics across the country has also been aided by the relaxation of India's narcotics laws.

The very same drug companies being sued by communities ravaged by the opioid epidemic are selling opioid products in India.

  • A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which was found responsible for Oklahoma's opioid problem earlier this week, is selling a fentanyl patch.
  • The Sackler family also controls a network of companies selling buprenorphine.

The other side: Pain relief is no doubt a good thing for Indians who previously suffered from excruciating cancer pain or died horribly painful deaths, an argument made by palliative care advocates to government officials who permitted the sale of opioids.

  • But as the U.S. has proven, there is a very fine line between compassionate health care and opioid overuse and abuse.
  • "Are people going to figure out every trick in the game to make [opioid painkillers] widely available?" Bobby John, a leading Indian public health expert, asked the Guardian. "Of course it will happen."

Go deeper: The first big opioids verdict is both big and small

Go deeper

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.