CompTalk: Risky Business — The Story of Fentanyl and Its Journey from Licit to Illicit Drug

A CompTalk presented by the National Comp Conference dives into fentanyl’s transformation into one of the deadliest opioids in today’s epidemic.
By: | December 7, 2020
Phil Walls discusses a COVID-19 cure

Originally intended to be used for patients in severe pain — like those undergoing cancer treatment or needing end-of-life care — fentanyl has become a major player in the modern opioid epidemic. The drug, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is often illegally used as a substitute for heroin.

In National Comp’s 15-minute CompTalk, “Risky Business: The Story of Fentanyl and Its Journey from Licit to Illicit Drug,” clinical pharmacist Phil Walls takes viewers on a journey from fentanyl’s discovery by Dr. Paul Janssen in 1960 and its legal uses to its resurgence as an illegal synthetic created by high school dropout and self-taught chemist George Marquardt.

Walls, who is the chief clinical officer at myMatrixx, has observed the drug’s rise both within and outside of the workers’ comp industry for decades.

The presentation will cover the different types of prescription Fentanyl and their legal uses as well as the drug’s rise as an alternative to heroin in illicit drug markets. Walls will address how people suffering an overdose can be treated, as well as the serious concern of mitigating the risks they pose to first responders.

You can view the session on-demand here. &

Courtney DuChene is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected].

More from Risk & Insurance