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opioid crisis

Sackler family withdrew $10 billion from Purdue Pharma while legal pressure mounted, audit shows

An audit commissioned by Purdue Pharma, to help navigate its bankruptcy, indicates that members of the Sackler family withdrew $10.7 billion from the company and distributed it amongst its trusts and overseas holding companies, according to reporting by The New York Times.

Sacklers could give up Purdue Pharma and settle 2,000 lawsuits for $10-12 billion, proposal says

The Sackler family are offering to settle more than 2,000 opioid crisis lawsuits for between $10-12 billion, according to NBC.

Sackler family lawyers said in a confidential meeting in Cleveland on 20 August that the family would settle lawsuits brought about by states, cities and counties for a sum of between $10 billion and $12 billion.

J&J must pay $572 million for fuelling opioid crisis in Oklahoma, judge says

A judge in Oklahoma has said that Johnson & Johnson must pay $572 million for the part it played in fuelling the opioid crisis which kills more than 130 a day in the United States.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman has said Johnson & Johnson must pay the state of Oklahoma $572,102,028, after Oklahoma prosecutors demanded more than $17 billion in payment over the role the firm played in worsening the opioid crisis through aggressively marketing opioid drugs.

Researchers design automatic opioid overdose antidote device

Image credit: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.05.041

Researchers at Purdue University are developing a device that would automatically detect an overdose in opioid users and release a burst of naloxone, an antidote to opioids deadly effects.

Hyowon "Hugh" Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue, explained: “The antidote is always going to be with you. The device wouldn't require you to recognize that you're having an overdose or to inject yourself with naloxone, keeping you stable long enough for emergency services to arrive.”

Ohio prosecutors file charges against opioid distributor Miami-Luken

Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Oceana%2C_West_Virginia.jpg

Federal prosecutors in Cincinnati have filed criminal charges against opioid distributor Miami-Luken, and four others, over the role they played in the opioid crisis in the United States.

Two former Miami-Luken executives and two pharmacists have been charged with fuelling the opioid crisis and flooding small towns in Appalachia with huge quantities of opioid drugs.

Oklahoma lawyers say J&J is kingpin of pharmaceutical cartel

Lawyers representing the State of Oklahoma described Johnson & Johnson as the ‘kingpin’ in a ‘pharmaceutical cartel’ as they accused the healthcare conglomerate of playing a central role in the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Oklahoma lawyers including Attorney General Mike Hunter told a judge that J&J’s ‘greed’ had led the company to sow ‘utter confusion’ about the risks of opioid painkillers with their years-long marketing campaign.

J&J 'worse' than Purdue Pharma expert witness says

The role Johnson & Johnson played in the opioid crisis was ‘in some ways worse’ than that of Purdue Pharma, an expert witness said in the Oklahoma trial of J&J.

Dr Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, has said that healthcare conglomerate J&J may have played a bigger role in the opioid crisis than the Sackler owned firm Purdue Pharma.

Oklahoma prosecutors say J&J used 'brainwashing campaign' to boost opioid sales

Oklahoma state prosecutors have accused Johnson & Johnson of engaging in a “cynical, deceitful, multibillion-dollar brainwashing campaign” to boost sales of opioid drugs.

The healthcare conglomerate played a leading role in fuelling “the worst manmade health crisis in the history of the country and the state,” Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mike Hunter said.

The firm ignored research on the dangers of painkillers as they sought to “establish opioid analgesics as the magic drug.”

UK GPs are underequipped to handle growing chronic opioid use, report warns

New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has argued that general practitioners (GPs) in the UK are lacking the skills needed to adequately handle chronic opioid use in their patients, and the psychological challenges which come with the goal of managing and reducing their use of the addictive and often harmful drugs.

The release of the report follows significant findings which show that the number of opioid prescriptions in England and Wales had rocketed by 60% over a ten-year period, rising from 14 million in 2008 to reach 23 million in 2018.

Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor found guilty of bribing doctors

The founder of opioid drugmaker Insys Therapeutics has been found guilty of bribing doctors in order to persuade them to prescribe the fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys.

A Boston jury found John Kapoor guilty of racketeering conspiracy after the billionaire pharma chief was found to have bribed doctors and defrauded insurance companies, as part of an effort to boost sales of the sublingual fentanyl spray Subsys.

While Subsys had been approved for patients with terminal cancer, the company targeted patients with non-life threatening chronic pain.

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