When it comes to opium production, India is one of the largest producers and exporters of opium. But while India supplies the world with opioids—the cheapest, most effective painkillers out there—the story back home is very different. We are only equipped to provide opioids for 40,000 patients—less than 1% of the national requirement. At the moment, opioid painkillers are used mostly as anaesthesia for severe cases such as road accidents or surgeries.
The needs of others who can also benefit from opioids, however, are not being met.