- Several drugmakers have asked Australia to expand its production of opium beyond the island of Tasmania amid fears that the production may not keep pace with demand, Financial Times reported Tuesday.
- GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and TPI Enterprises are among the companies urging Australia to permit opium production on the mainland for the first time.
- Jarrod Ritchie, chief executive of TPI, remarked: "There is increasing demand for pain relief drugs as the global middle classes expand. But there is a limit on the available land in Tasmania for growing."
- Figures released by the UN revealed that the demand for pain relief more than tripled between 1993 and 2012, with further increases expected as middle class consumers, especially in Asia, use more painkillers.
- Glynn Williams, president of Poppy Growers Tasmania, argued that Tasmania is an optimal location for opium production because of its climate and isolation from large population centres.
- GlaxoSmithKline previously suggested that Tasmania's 49-percent market share of opium production is threatened by "uncontrollable forces such as climatic events."
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