opioids

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9 Sentenced in China After Tip From US About 'Diana'

All were fentanyl traffickers

(Newser) - A Chinese court sentenced nine fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and US law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids. Liu Yong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while Jiang... More »

A Teen's 2015 OD Death Had Link to Something Much Bigger

Alex W. Palmer goes deep into a global fentanyl ring

(Newser) - Prepare to feel pretty worn out after reading Alex W. Palmer's lengthy dive into a global fentanyl ring for the New York Times . The piece is staggering in its scope—in terms of distance (it bounces between Hong Kong, North Dakota, and Florida, among other locales), timeline, and complexity.... More »

Lawsuit: Drug Firms Acted Like a Cartel. Now, a $260M Deal

Ohio's Summit, Cuyahoga counties to be paid by 4 major companies for their role in opioid epidemic

(Newser) - Two counties in Ohio could have pulled in $8 billion if they'd won their legal battle in court against Big Pharma. Instead, in an 11th-hour deal, they've settled for $260 million against three major distributors and a manufacturer for their role in the opioid epidemic, the Wall Street ... More »

Judge Makes Big Decimal Point Error in Opioid Ruling

Oklahoma's Thad Balkman was off by $107M or so

(Newser) - A judge in Oklahoma has admitted a major calculating error in the $572 million penalty applied to pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson for its role in the state's opioid crisis. "That's the last time I use that calculator," Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman said Tuesday,... More »

Sesame Street Addresses Issue of Parental Addiction

Elmo's new friend has a mother with a problem

(Newser) - Sesame Street is taking a new step to try to help kids navigate life in America—it's tackling the opioid crisis. Sesame Workshop is exploring the backstory of Karli, a bright green, yellow-haired friend of Elmo's whose mother is battling addiction. The initiative is part of the Sesame... More »

Mom of 'Emo Rapper' Sues Over His Death

Lil Peep's mother blames his managers for his overdose

(Newser) - Lil Peep died of a drug overdose at age 21 , and nearly two years after the death of the "emo rapper" on a tour bus, his mother is suing. Liza Womack says in her suit that her son was "stressed, overwhelmed, burnt out, exhausted and physically unwell" before... More »

Victims Weren't in the Room When Opioid Maker Settled

But now 4 of them will play a role in Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy

(Newser) - Victims of opioid addiction weren't in the room when OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma persuaded half the state attorneys general to settle claims over the company's role in the nationwide overdose epidemic, the AP reports. Now that Purdue is in federal bankruptcy court, four people whose lives were touched... More »

Doctor Who Gave Every Patient Opioids Sentenced to 40 Years

He 'hid behind his doctor's coat as a large-scale drug dealer'

(Newser) - A Virginia doctor who never met a patient he didn't prescribe opioids to has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. Prosecutors say Dr. Joel Smithers, 36, prescribed more than 500,000 doses of opioids in less than two years at his practice in Martinsville, population 13,000, before... More »

Johnson & Johnson Settles With 2 Counties Over Opioids

More than $20M to go to Ohio's Cuyahoga and Summit counties

(Newser) - Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced it had reached an agreement worth more than $20 million with two Ohio counties, becoming the latest company to settle a lawsuit to get out of the first federal trial over the nation's opioids crisis. The deal with Cuyahoga and Summit counties comes... More »

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 »

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