opioids

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Supreme Court Tosses Controversial Opioid Settlement

5-4 ruling blocks nationwide deal with Purdue Pharma over opioid epidemic

(Newser) - The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a nationwide settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma that would have shielded members of the Sackler family who own the company from civil lawsuits over the toll of opioids but also would have provided billions of dollars to combat the opioid epidemic. After deliberating...

There's a Big Downside to Demonizing Opioids
We May Have Gone Too Far
in Demonizing Opioids
longform

We May Have Gone Too Far in Demonizing Opioids

Too many people are dying painful deaths, writes Ann Neumann in the Baffler

(Newser) - The stigma in America against opioid use is an understandable one, writes Ann Neumann in the Baffler . After all, the devastating toll of addiction over the last two decades by drugs such as OxyContin has been well chronicled. Neumann covers that familiar territory in her piece, but in the context...

It's a Rare Something to Celebrate Amid Fentanyl Crisis

Overdose deaths decline for first time since 2018

(Newser) - There's a glimmer of hope in the ongoing drug crisis powered by fentanyl. Overdose deaths declined in 2023 for the first time in five years, though the drop was only slight, according to CDC estimates. There were 107,500 deaths, down 3% from 111,029 in 2022, preliminary data...

Report: McKinsey Is Target of Opioid-Related Criminal Probe

Grand jury has been empaneled after years-long federal investigation, sources say

(Newser) - McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm that advised companies how to "supercharge" opioid sales , is the target of a criminal investigation into its role in a crisis that has killed more Americans than any war, insiders say. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department is investigating...

Fentanyl State of Emergency Declared in Portland, Oregon

'Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive'

(Newser) - Several elected leaders in Oregon declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for downtown Portland over the public health and public safety crisis fueled by fentanyl. Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson made the declaration for a 90-day period during which...

Washington Announces $150M Opioid Settlement With Drugmaker

It's about $20M more than state would have received under national settlement

(Newser) - More than four years after suing Johnson & Johnson over the drugmaker's role in the opioid crisis, Washington state has reached a $149.5 million settlement with the company. The deal, which must still be approved by a judge, would send $123.3 million to state and local governments...

McKinsey Settles Opioid Claims
McKinsey Settles Opioid Claims

McKinsey Settles Opioid Claims

Consulting firm collaborated with Purdue Pharma, insurers say

(Newser) - Consulting firm McKinsey and Co. has agreed to pay $78 million to settle claims from insurers and health care funds that its work with drug companies helped fuel an opioid addiction crisis. The agreement was revealed late Friday in documents filed in federal court in San Francisco. The settlement must...

Accused of Poisoning Neighbors With Opioids, PhD Student Deported

Xuming Li of China lost student visa following charges, expulsion

(Newser) - A chemistry PhD student who was allegedly caught injecting opioids through the door of an upstairs neighbor with whom he quarreled over noise will escape charges in the US, as he's been deported to his native China. Xuming Li, 36, faced felony charges of battery and possession of a...

The Opioid Crisis Is Crossing Over to Something Darker

Experts struggle to treat multi-drug use as opioid users turn to meth and other stimulants

(Newser) - The opioid epidemic has become an uphill battle with the rise of fentanyl on the streets, but experts are seeing an even scarier trend. The New York Times reports that people addicted to drugs are more likely to use multiple substances now, combining a cocktail of uppers and downers that...

Law's One-Word Change Results in Babies Being Taken

New moms following doctors' orders to take anti-addiction meds are losing custody

(Newser) - A story in the New York Times Magazine illustrates a nightmare situation encountered by thousands of new moms across the US: They risk losing custody of their newborns because they're following doctors' orders and taking anti-addiction medication. The story by Shoshana Walter traces the issue to a 2016 federal...

US Army Sees Record Number of Fatal ODs From This Drug

Fentanyl is hitting all military branches, but none as hard as the Army, and loved ones want answers

(Newser) - Earlier this year, Congress received some sobering data from the Department of Defense showing that fentanyl was involved in 88% of the 2021 deaths of US troops who'd died of drug overdoses—up from just 36% five years earlier. "Our military is not immune to the opioid epidemic,...

288 Arrested in Massive Dark Web Drug Crackdown

Though AG admits it's 'a bit of a whack-a-mole problem'

(Newser) - A crackdown on the trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs on the dark web led to 288 arrests, 153 of those in the US, authorities say. The 18-month-long operation spanning nine countries on three continents was known as Operation SpecTor, and it also resulted in the seizure of more than...

Opioid Distributors That 'Turned on the Faucets' Win Big Case

Plaintiffs lose complaint in Georgia in which they'd sued distributors as if they were drug dealers

(Newser) - A trio of opioid distributors emerged victorious at a Georgia trial on Wednesday, in the first lawsuit from private individuals against pharma companies that made it to trial. Per Reuters , the verdict was handed down in Glynn County Superior Court in favor of Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp., and the regional...

Pentagon to Military Members: Stop Eating Poppy Seeds

They could cause a failed drug test, memo warns

(Newser) - It's a lesson that Elaine learned the hard way —and one that's not purely the stuff of TV lore . In a Feb. 17 memo , the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros warned service members of the potential perils posed by poppy seeds as...

Narcan Could Soon Be Available Over the Counter

FDA panels support change making overdose-reversing drug much more widely available

(Newser) - Two panels of Food and Drug Administration advisers have unanimously recommended that Narcan be made available over the counter, a move that could help reduce deaths in the ongoing opioid epidemic. The overdose-reducing nasal spray, known generically as naloxone, is already widely used by first responders and outreach workers. But...

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...

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