A doctor was killed in a drug overdose on Wednesday in the United States, the first death on the US market of a physician on the powerful opioid fentanyl.
The overdose of Dr. William M. Anderson Jr., a pediatrician at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday afternoon was the latest in a string of deaths linked to the drug, which is also known as fentanyl, or “the holy grail” for pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The deaths have raised concerns about how the drug has become a new source of death for the United State’s physicians, who are struggling to contain rising demand.
More:The United States has seen nearly 4,300 doctors die from opioid-related illnesses since the start of 2018, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than a third of the deaths occurring between December 2018 and January 2019.
More than two dozen other states have reported at least one doctor death, including Washington, California, Florida, New York and Massachusetts.
Dr. Anderson, who was a pediatricist, was pronounced dead at the scene, and he was taken to a local hospital, where he died, said St. Charles County Coroner Robert L. Spiro.
The cause of death is not yet known.
“The cause of this tragedy is under investigation,” said a statement from the St. James County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“We are still awaiting a toxicology report, but it is known that this is a fentanyl-related overdose.”
The doctor, who is not being identified because of his medical condition, was one of several doctors to take a stand in the late 1800s and early 1900s against the use of opioids.
The first deaths were reported in the early 1800s in New York City and in Philadelphia, but doctors started to warn of the dangers of the drug’s addictive properties.
“It was really not uncommon for physicians to take narcotics and use them as a way of managing pain, and then take them back for a while, just to see if they worked,” said Dr. Joseph E. Siegel, a professor of medicine at St. John’s University in Worcester, Massachusetts, who has studied the deaths.
Dr Anderson had been working with a team of scientists that studied how to develop an antidote to the drugs, which include the opioid fentanyl, which has similar properties to morphine.
Dr. Anderson also worked with researchers to develop a treatment for hepatitis C, which causes liver failure and death.
In the late 1990s, Dr. Skelberg, now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, began working with Dr. Kahlia K. Anderson in the hopes of developing a drug that could be used in conjunction with a drug called naloxone, which can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.
Naloxonone is available over the counter for the treatment of overdose, but in the case of opioids, it can be very dangerous because it blocks the opioid receptors in the brain.
The drug was developed by the drug company Pfizer in the U.S.
The drug, developed by Dr. Michael M. Sankovitz and his team at New York University, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, but only when the FDA approved it.
Niloxanone, the generic version of nalaxone, is already approved by more than 200 other countries.
“In the early 2000s, I had a patient who came to me and said she was going to die,” Dr. Spiegel said.
“She didn’t know if she would survive, and it was a very difficult time for me.
The drugs I was working on were very safe.”
He said his goal was to create an antidote for opioids that would work with nalxonone.
He has also worked to develop and test a vaccine for hepatitis A, the virus that causes liver damage and death, and a drug to prevent the virus from spreading to people.
In a statement, Pfizer said it was aware of the situation and would have no further comment.
“Pfizer has worked tirelessly to ensure that the development and approval of this drug is a top priority for Pfizer and our physicians and research teams,” the statement said.
“At the same time, we will continue to work with our colleagues to develop additional and more effective treatments for the serious complications of opioid addiction.”
The company said it is working with state and local law enforcement authorities to investigate the circumstances of Dr Anderson’s death.
The Centers for Diseases Control and HIV/AIDS said in a statement that it was working with the family to identify and provide support to the affected physician’s immediate family.”CODEPINK, the opioid abuse prevention and treatment program, is committed to assisting the family in the identification of any information they may need,” it said.
The federal government has also begun its own investigation.
The U.N. Office of Drugs