opioids

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Justice Department Sues Wholesaler Over Opioid Crisis

AmerisourceBergen counters that it reported hundreds of suspicious orders

(Newser) - The Justice Department claimed in a lawsuit filed Thursday that a major drug wholesaler contributed to the deadly toll from opioids by ignoring warning signs about suspicious sales to its pharmacy customers. The 87-page civil enforcement action accuses AmerisourceBergen Corp. and two subsidiaries of failing to properly scrutinize orders for...

Researchers Have Created a Vaccine Against Fentanyl

'Game changer' could prevent thousands of overdose deaths

(Newser) - Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram calls fentanyl the "single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered"—but researchers at the University of Houston may have found a way to dramatically cut deaths from the synthetic opioid. The team developed a vaccine that blocks fentanyl from entering...

Another Big Pharma Chain Is About to Fork Over Billions

Walmart agrees to $3.1B settlement with states, tribes regarding opioid crisis

(Newser) - Walmart has joined two other big pharmacy chains in opening its wallet wide to help fix the opioid epidemic that many say they helped cause. The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart has agreed to fork over $3.1 billion to settle lawsuits from multiple states, municipalities, and Native American...

Former LA Angels Employee Gets 22 Years in Pitcher's Death

Judge added 2 years because of remarks Eric Kay made about Tyler Skaggs

(Newser) - Update: Former Los Angeles Angels staff member Eric Kay has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for giving pitcher Tyler Skaggs the drugs that killed him. District Judge Terry Means said he was sentencing Eric Kay, the team's former communications director, to two years over the statutory...

Pharmacy Chains Ordered to Pay Ohio Counties $650M

They lost a landmark opioids case last year

(Newser) - A federal judge in Cleveland awarded $650 million in damages Wednesday to two Ohio counties that won a landmark lawsuit against national pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, claiming the way they distributed opioids to customers caused severe harm to communities and created a public nuisance. US District Judge Dan...

SF City Attorney: 'Walgreens Filled Our Streets With Opioids'

Judge rules that chain can be held responsible for contributing to crisis

(Newser) - A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Walgreens can be held responsible for contributing to San Francisco's opioid crisis for over-dispensing highly addictive drugs for years without proper oversight and failing to identify and report suspicious orders as required by law. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said the pharmacy...

Former Opioid Maker Settles With States for $2.4B

Allergan agreement lifts industry's total payments past $40B

(Newser) - A former opioid manufacturer has agreed in principle to pay up to $2.4 billion in a deal with a dozen states over its marketing and product safety practices, state attorneys general announced. The company, Allergan, is now part of AbbVie but sold its generics division Actavis, including its opioid...

Opioid Crisis May Cost Drugmaker $4.25B

Teva Pharmaceuticals deal has not yet been finalized

(Newser) - Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest opioid painkiller producers during the opioid crisis, has reached a tentative settlement to end thousands of lawsuits against it. The deal, which some outlets are reporting as worth up to $4.25 billion while others put it at up to $4.35 billion, would...

Canada Takes Bold Step to 'Remove the Shame' on Drugs

Small amounts of 'hard' drugs to be temporarily decriminalized in British Columbia to fight ODs

(Newser) - If you're busted in British Columbia with a small amount of hard drugs, you could soon see some grace, thanks to an innovative new program designed to deal with the OD crisis. The BBC reports that, starting at the end of January, drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and...

CDC Reveals 'Truly Staggering' Stat on Drug Overdoses

More than 107K Americans suffered fatal ODs last year

(Newser) - More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, setting another tragic record in the nation's escalating overdose epidemic, the CDC estimated Wednesday. The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one US overdose death every five minutes. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record, set...

Study Reveals Startling Stat on Synthetic Opioids

Seizures of pills tainted with fentanyl are up 50-fold in just 4 years

(Newser) - A new study led by New York University has a stat about drug seizures that speaks volumes about the nation's fentanyl problem : In the first quarter of 2018, authorities seized about 42,000 pills containing the highly potent drug, per the National Institutes of Health . In the last quarter...

Victim to Sacklers: 'I Hope Every Face Haunts You'

Hearing was part of the Purdue Pharma settlement

(Newser) - Richard, Theresa, and David Sackler were forced to sit in silence Thursday as victims of the opioid epidemic told the owners of Purdue Pharma the damage Oxycontin had done to their lives and families. The session was mandated by the settlement that ended years of court fights, giving victims their...

OxyContin Settlement Includes a Statement of 'Regret'

Sacklers stop short of an unequivocal apology in opioid deal

(Newser) - Purdue Pharma reached a nationwide settlement Thursday over its role in the opioid crisis, with the Sackler family members who own the company boosting their cash contribution to as much as $6 billion in a deal intended to staunch a flood of lawsuits facing the maker of OxyContin. The deal...

Sacklers Up Opioid Settlement, With an Unpopular Condition

Family behind Purdue Pharma wants protection from future lawsuits, as well

(Newser) - The family behind Purdue Pharma is willing to contribute another $1 billion to settle thousands of opioid crisis lawsuits, provided it buys the Sacklers immunity from all current and future civil cases. That protection was included in the first bankruptcy plan for the company, which was rejected last year by...

Team Worker Watched Pitcher Snort Drugs on Night He Died: Testimony

Angels' Tyler Skaggs died in his hotel room in 2019

(Newser) - Update: A former Los Angeles Angels employee accused of providing the opioids that contributed to Tyler Skaggs' overdose death told a colleague he watched the Angels pitcher do drugs the night before he was found dead in a suburban Dallas hotel room, according to testimony Monday in his trial. Eric...

CDC Proposes Softening Guidance on Opioids

Strict 2016 guidelines were 'misused and misapplied'

(Newser) - The nation's top public health agency on Thursday proposed changing—and in some instances softening—guidelines for US doctors prescribing oxycodone and other opioid painkillers. The CDC's previous guidance, issued six years ago, helped slow the kind of prescribing that ignited the worst overdose epidemic in US history,...

Counties Win 'Landmark Victory' Against Pharmacy Chains

Federal jury found chains responsible for role in opioid crisis

(Newser) - CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in two Ohio counties, a federal jury said Tuesday in a verdict that could set the tone for US city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis. Lake and...

The Number of Fatal ODs We Just Suffered Is Huge

Number crests 100K for first time ever

(Newser) - As if COVID wasn't enough of a mortality whammy, now this: The CDC on Wednesday announced that Americans suffered more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in a 12-month period for the first time ever. Between May 2019 and April 2020 there were 78,056 overdose deaths. Over the...

Court Overturns $465M Opioid Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson

It's the second blow to a case like this in the past month

(Newser) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a $465 million opioid ruling against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, finding that a lower court wrongly interpreted the state's public nuisance law in the first case of its kind in the US to go to trial. The ruling was the second blow...

Deaths Spike as OD Antidote Price Soars

Expert attributes thousands of deaths to greed amid naxolone supply issues

(Newser) - The US has seen a record high in overdose deaths during the pandemic, and an addiction expert says "we can expect even more fatal overdoses" now that a medication that reverses overdoses has jumped up to 30 times in price. The Opioid Safety and Naloxone Network Buyers Club, a...

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