opioids

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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 Employee Convicted in Death of Tyler Skaggs

Eric Kay, former communications director, gave Angels pitcher counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl

(Newser) - A Texas jury found a former Los Angeles Angels staff member guilty Thursday of two counts in the 2019 overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. After deliberating for less than three hours, the US District Court jury in Fort Worth convicted Eric Kay of distributing an opioid laced with fentanyl...

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...

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