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Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy

But OxyContin maker's legal battles are far from over

(Newser) - Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, NY, days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids. The filing was anticipated before and after the tentative... More »

A New Role Awaits Men in Coal Country

In one Kentucky county, it's women who bring home the bacon

(Newser) - Welcome to Letcher County in Kentucky, where coal's decline is changing time-honored gender roles. As men struggle to find work, women are entering a field in need of people—health care—and bringing home relatively small but still invaluable paychecks, the New York Times reports. "The mines have... More »

Drug Companies Target Federal Judge

They say Judge Dan Polster is biased

(Newser) - Attorneys for eight drug distributors, pharmacies, and retailers facing trial next month for their roles in the opioid crisis want to disqualify the federal judge overseeing their cases, saying he has shown bias in his effort to obtain a multibillion-dollar global settlement, the AP reports. According to a motion filed... More »

Tentative Deal Reached in Purdue Pharma Lawsuits

OxyContin maker reaches tentative settlement with some of the states, governments suing

(Newser) - A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation's opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it. The agreement with... More »

China Says Trump's Fentanyl Claims Are False

'What Trump said is completely groundless and untrue'

(Newser) - China said Tuesday that it's not the source of the fentanyl that's killing Americans, contrary to President Trump's recent tweets blaming China for the drug deaths. At a briefing for the National Narcotics Control Commission, China reiterated that it is making extensive efforts toward controlling the synthetic... More »

Purdue Settlement Could Leave Sacklers Wealthy

Opioid deal might leave family with more than $1B

(Newser) - OxyContin made the Sacklers fabulously wealthy. Even after a multibillion-dollar settlement of 2,000 lawsuits against the family and its company, they could still be. Under the $10 billion to $12 billion deal under negotiation, the Sacklers would give up control of Purdue Pharma, the Washington Post reports. The company... More »

Pitcher's Family 'Shocked' by New Twist in His Death

The investigation into Tyler Skaggs' death apparently involves a Los Angeles Angels employee

(Newser) - Looks like the probe into Tyler Skaggs' death involves a Los Angeles Angels employee—which his family called a shocking development, USA Today reports. "We have not been told the identity of the Angel employee that may be involved so I will take a pass on saying anything right... More »

Report: OxyContin Maker in Talks to Settle State Lawsuits

Source say Purdue has offered up to $12B

(Newser) - State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation's opioid crisis. Purdue has been cast by attorneys... More »

Opioid Ruling on J&J May Be Good News ... for Big Pharma

Johnson & Johnson must pay $572M over opioid crisis, but prosecutors wanted far more

(Newser) - It seemed like bad news for Johnson & Johnson. On Monday, an Oklahoma judge ordered the company to pay $572 million because of its role in fueling the opioid crisis. Why, then, did the company's stock rise 5% in late trading Monday and continue to rise Tuesday? Because things... More »

Johnson & Johnson Must Pay Up Over Opioids

Oklahoma judge orders company to shell out $572M

(Newser) - An Oklahoma judge on Monday found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state's opioid crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to clean up the problem. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman's ruling followed the first state opioid case to make... More »

Scientists Warned in 2006 That Opioid Crisis Was Unfolding

Surgeon general agreed to issue call to action, but it never came to be

(Newser) - In 2006 the surgeon general was just about to warn the nation of an impending health threat—but that warning didn't materialize. Politico reports that in a March 15, 2006, memo to then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona, the heads of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes... More »

Trump Opens Up About Brother Who Died

He tells 'Washington Post' he regrets pressuring brother Fred, who died at 42 as an alcoholic

(Newser) - Fred Trump Jr., Donald Trump's older brother, died at age 42—and the president of the United States has some regrets about the way he treated him while he was still alive. As the Washington Post explains, Trump has been using the story of Fred, who was an alcoholic,... More »

Rare Blood Infections Traced to Nurse's Alleged Opioid Theft

Kelsey Mulvey accused of swapping cancer patients' medication with tap water

(Newser) - A nurse in New York allegedly stole injectable opioids for her own use, then refilled hospital syringes with tap water in a move that caused rare infections in cancer patients, according to a new report. The report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine notes six cancer patients... More »

Pence's Trip to New Hampshire Axed Over Alleged Drug Dealer

The VP would have encountered Jeff Hatch, Politico explains

(Newser) - There were nothing but question marks after Mike Pence suddenly canceled a planned appearance in New Hampshire on July 2 just before Air Force Two was set to depart. His office referenced an unspecified security concern, reports the Washington Post . President Trump offered something more intriguing: "You'll know... More »

Opioid Distributor Hit With Federal Charges

Former Miami-Luken execs could get 20 years

(Newser) - Opioid distributors are up on charges—again. Prosecutors indicted an Ohio-based drug distributor and two former executives Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to shovel millions of painkillers into Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, the Washington Post reports. The distributor, Miami-Luken, allegedly brushed aside "obvious signs" of drugs entering the black... More »

Louvre Covers Sackler Family Name With Tape

It's first major institution to remove the name

(Newser) - France's Louvre Museum in Paris has become the first major institution to remove the Sackler family name after protests erupted against the family that is blamed for the deadly opioid crisis in the US. At the Louvre's Oriental Antiquities gallery, an AP photographer late Wednesday saw tape covering... More »

Cops: Doctor Prescribed Too Much Fentanyl, Killed 25

William Husel has been charged in the 25 deaths

(Newser) - Authorities say an Ohio doctor is responsible for the deaths of 25 patients for whom he prescribed excessive doses of the opioid painkiller fentanyl. William Husel has been charged in all those deaths following a six-month investigation, reports NBC News , which calls the deaths "a stunning case of medical... More »

Landmark Opioid Trial Hinges on a Legal Term

What is a 'public nuisance'?

(Newser) - A landmark trial got underway Tuesday in Oklahoma—the first big test of whether a state can hold drug manufacturers responsible for the opioid crisis, reports the Wall Street Journal . In opening arguments, Attorney General Mike Hunter said these painkillers have led to the "worst manmade public health crisis"... More »

Opioid Crisis Sees Ray of Hope

Use of prescription opioids actually fell in 2018

(Newser) - For those grieving the opioid crisis, a sliver of hope: America's use of prescription opioids fell more than ever last year amid a government crackdown on drugmakers and pharmacists, CNBC reports. Overall use dropped 17% in 2018, the biggest decline on record, according to the health research firm IQVIA... More »

A Big First in the Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical distributor is facing federal criminal charges

(Newser) - Rochester Drug Cooperative was charged on Tuesday in federal court—marking the first time a pharmaceutical distributor has been charged for its alleged role in worsening the nation's opioid crisis, the New York Times reports. RDC and two of its former executives are accused of supplying pharmacies with "... More »

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