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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...

Judge Approves Settlement That Shields Sacklers

Purdue Pharma owners will be protected from future lawsuits over opioids

(Newser) - A federal bankruptcy judge gave conditional approval Wednesday to a sweeping, potentially $10 billion plan submitted by OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle a mountain of lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades. Under the settlement, the Sackler...

Doctor Accused of Fraud Has Bigger Problems Now

FBI says Anatoly Braylovsky tried to hire a hitman to take out a witness

(Newser) - Connecticut doctor Anatoly Braylovsky got burned in a sting operation last year and was charged with making bogus opioid prescriptions. This year, the FBI says he got burned in yet another sting and is charged with trying to hire a hitman to help him beat the first charges. As the...

State AGs Announce Landmark $26B Opioid Settlement

J&J, drug distributors have agreed to nationwide settlement

(Newser) - Four major drug companies have agreed to a landmark $26 billion settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits from state and local governments over the opioid crisis, a coalition of state attorneys general announced Wednesday. The proposal calls for drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay $5 billion over nine years and...

Johnson & Johnson Settles For $230M, Quits Opioid Business

Deal takes the pharmaceutical giant out of huge New York trial

(Newser) - Johnson & Johnson is going out of the opioid business in the US. It's also going to pay the state of New York a $230 million settlement, the New York Times reports. The agreement takes them out of a trial of several pharmaceutical makers slated to start next week....

Pharma Memos Mocked Customers as 'Pillbillies'

Disparaging rhymes and emails show contempt as opioid problem grew: lawyer

(Newser) - Pharmaceutical executives mocked their customers as hillbillies, disparaging them in rhymes even as the companies poured pills into Appalachia and opioid addiction rates and overdoses rose. One email told of Jed, for example, "a poor mountaineer" who "barely kept his habit fed." Another rhyme referred to Kentucky...

The 10 States With the Biggest Drug Problems

District of Columbia actually fares the worst on WalletHub list

(Newser) - Drug abuse has only gotten worse with the pandemic, with 87,000 overdose deaths in the 12 months ending in September—representing a 29% increase from October 2019 to September 2020, reports the New York Times . Breaking down the states most affected by drug abuse using 21 metrics—including per...

Many Have Lukewarm Reaction to OxyContin Maker's Offer

$10B plan calls for turning the pharmaceutical giant into a new company

(Newser) - Some state attorneys general and opioid addiction activists pushed back Tuesday against a settlement offer from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, saying it didn't include enough money and goes too far in protecting the company and family members who own it from future liability. A group of nearly half the...

Prosecutor About Doctor: 'Basically, He's a Serial Killer'

Long Island doctor charged in connection with opioid deaths

(Newser) - A Long Island Doctor who saw patients in a hotel parking lot, a Dunkin’ Donuts, and an abandoned Radio Shack has been indicted on murder charges, the AP reports. Authorities say George Blatti, 75, prescribed massive amounts of opioids, leading to the deaths of five patients and endangering the lives...

Amid Opioid ODs, Firm Advised How to 'Supercharge' Sales: Report

Consulting firm McKinsey to pay $573M for role in crisis

(Newser) - The global business consulting firm McKinsey & Company has agreed to a $573 million settlement over its role in advising companies on how to "supercharge" opioid sales amid an overdose crisis, a person with knowledge of the deal told the AP on Wednesday. Sources told the New York Times...

Federal Lawsuit: Walmart Helped Fuel a National Crisis

Justice Department says company's pharmacies 'failed to follow basic legal rules'

(Newser) - The Justice Department is suing Walmart, alleging the company unlawfully dispensed controlled substances through its more than 5,000 pharmacies, helping to fuel the opioid crisis in America, reports the AP . Details of the allegations contained in the civil complaint being filed Tuesday:
  • The Justice Department alleges Walmart violated federal

Sacklers Infuriate Lawmakers
Sacklers Infuriate Lawmakers

Sacklers Infuriate Lawmakers

Family behind Purdue Pharma has no regrets over opioid crisis

(Newser) - The opioid epidemic has killed more than 400,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription opioids including Oxycontin, which Purdue Pharma put on the market about 25 years ago, caused about 230,000 of the deaths. The company's marketing pitched the pills to doctors...

OxyContin Maker Pleads Guilty to 3 Criminal Charges

Company admits role in opioid epidemic

(Newser) - Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an opioid epidemic that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths but also angering critics who want to see individuals held accountable, in addition to the company. In a virtual hearing with a...

Landmark Opioid Settlement Is Close

4 companies would pay $26B

(Newser) - Four companies are closing in on a $26 billion settlement of lawsuits over their roles in the opioid crisis. The deal would prevent state and local governments from suing the companies in the future. Some of the governments had rejected a similar package last year; the companies added $4 billion...

Walmart Sues Feds in Opioid Abuse Battle

Lawsuit is 'pre-emptive strike'

(Newser) - Walmart is suing the US government in a pre-emptive strike in the battle over its responsibility in the opioid abuse crisis. The government is expected to take civil action against the world's largest retailer, seeking big financial penalties, for the role its pharmacies may have played in the crisis...

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