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Johnson & Johnson to contribute a further $1 billion to US opioid settlement

Johnson & Johnson will pay another $1 billion to settle lawsuits alleging it fuelled the opioid crisis in the US.

J&J already agreed a $4 billion settlement with a group of state attorney generals, which called for distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisouceBergen and Cardinal health to pay a combined $18 billion.

J&J said in a statement that the additional funds reflected the continued negotiations it had been carrying out with local governments.

Canada to roll out automated drug dispensers to help fight opioid crisis

Photo by Adam/Wiki Commons

Canada is set to roll out automated drug dispensers that can provide clean, doctor-prescribed medicine to opioid addicts by scanning their palm.

These machines are called MySafe Verified Identity Dispensers and weigh about 360kg. They are said to be “tamper proof”.

The dispensers have been designed so addicts can get opioids like hydromorphone that are clean instead of potentially dangerous knock offs from the street.

US states seek $26.4 billion from major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to settle opioid litigation

Photo by Adam

Multiple Attorney Generals from across the US are seeking billions of dollars in damages to settle opioid cases against major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. 

This amounts to the states seeking a collective $21.14 billion from opioid distributors including Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp and AmerisourceBergen. They are also seeking $5.28 billion from Johnson and Johnson. 

FDA approves opioid Olinvyk for patients with acute pain

The FDA has approved Olinvyk for the management of moderate to severe pain in adult patients when their pain is severe enough to require an intravenous opioid or if alternative treatments do not work.

FDA launches new pilot program to crack down on unapproved opioids sold online

Photo by FDA/CDC

The FDA is collaborating with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to launch a pilot program to reduce the availability of unapproved opioids illegally sold online.

FDA approval for Baudax Bio's non-opioid painkiller Anjeso

Baudax Bio has revealed the FDA approval of its non-opioid painkiller Anjeso (meloxicam injection) as a therapy for the management of moderate to severe pain, either when administered as a monotherapy or when used in combination with analgesics which are not nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

The decision was based on efficacy data from two Phase 3 studies and marks the first availability in the US of a 24-hour, intravenous (IV) COX-2 preferential NSAID.

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The coronavirus is again in the news, with the Indian government considering banning exports of medicine as the epidemic threatens vital pharmaceutical supplies from China. This is not just a regional issue, as Europe and the US are also having their drug production pipeline disrupted by the epidemic. 

In UK news, NICE gives initial ‘no’ to NHS England for kidney cancer drug, while experts have called on the organisation to ban the sale of over the counter codeine. 

Experts call on NICE to recommended a ban on OTC codeine sales

Experts have called for a ban on the sale of over the counter codeine as NICE is set to publish its draft guidance for the management of chronic pain next week.

FDA panel votes against Nektar opioid painkiller

FDA unanimously voted against Nektar Therapeutics opioid pankiller (NKTR-181) for chronic lower back pain, prompting the company to withdraw its application.

It voted 27-0 against the approval over concerns of people abusing the drug. They also felt that there was a lack of data to determine the possible abuse when snorted or injected and its potential for liver toxicity.

Rochester Drug Cooperative ceases opioid sales following criminal charges

The Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC) has announced it will no longer distribute opioid medications after two of its executives were charged with illegally distributing opioids and conspiring to defraud the FDA.

The RDC said in a statement that: "The ever-increasing expenses associated with the legal and regulatory compliance for this segment of drugs are simply not sustainable. While these specific drugs represent a relatively small percent of total sales, they account for significant legal and compliance."

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