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Prescription for disaster

The New Yorker, May 6, 2014
In 2005, the medical examiner in Wichita, Kansas, noticed a cluster of deaths that were unusually similar in nature: in three years, sixteen men and women, between the ages of twenty-two and fifty-two, had died in their sleep. In the hours before they lost consciousness, they had been sluggish and dopey, struggling to stay awake. A few had complained of chest pain. "I can't catch my breath," one kept saying. All of them had taken painkillers prescribed by a family practice called the Schneider Medical Clinic. The clinic was in Haysville, a working-class suburb of Wichita. The main industries in the area were aircraft and plastics, neither of which was doing well. [Subscription Required]