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Drug Overdose Deaths

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A global megacorporation best known for Band-Aids and baby powder is now on the hook for about $107 million less than originally anticipated over its role in Oklahoma's opioid crisis.

In a judgment filed Friday, state District Judge Thad Balkman revised an earlier ruling against Johnson & Johnson and told the drugmaker to make a onetime payment of $465 million — not the $572 million he had originally ordered.

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Whitehall police have made an arrest after three people fatally overdosed on opioids at a Powell Avenue home earlier  this week. 

The Franklin County Coroner's office is reporting another spike in drug overdose deaths. 

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Grandview Heights police have boarded up a property on Broadview Avenue that was the scene of a drug overdose death and the subject of nearly two dozen complaints over two-years.  

There's a reckoning underway in the courts about the damage wrought by the opioid crisis and who should pay for it.

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The nation's three largest drug distributors and a drugmaker have reached a tentative deal to settle a lawsuit related to the nation's opioid crisis. 

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Ohio’s attorney general says his office is disappointed in a reported settlement with five drugmakers and distributors in advance of a huge opioid trial - a trial he tried to delay.

Three major U.S. drug distributing companies are negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement to end numerous lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking compensation for costs associated with the opioid crisis.

The drug distributors — Amerisource Bergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health — could pay as much as $18 billion over 18 years, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the discussions.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 24

Make no mistake: The legal fight over liability for the U.S. opioid crisis is only heating up.

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The 6th  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Thursday  denied an effort led by Ohio Attorney General David Yost to stop a bellwether trial over the opioid crisis from starting this month in Cleveland.

There's no doubt that opioids have been massively overprescribed in U.S. In the haste to address the epidemic, there's been pressure on doctors to reduce prescriptions of these drugs — and in fact prescriptions are declining. But along the way, some chronic pain patients have been forced to rapidly taper or discontinue the drugs altogether.

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a new message for doctors: Abrupt changes to a patient's opioid prescription could harm them.

Preliminary reports from the Franklin County coroner say 254 people died of drug overdoses in the first six months of 2019, up 4 percent from the same period last year. 

Updated at 9:35 p.m. ET

New York state Attorney General Letitia James says the family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid OxyContin, used Swiss bank accounts to transfer $1 billion from the company to itself.

The allegation, which came in court documents filed late Friday, indicates that the Sackler family is trying to keep its wealth free from potential liability in other court cases involving Purdue Pharma's role in the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid drug OxyContin, has reached a tentative deal worth billions of dollars that would resolve thousands of lawsuits brought by municipal and state governments who sued the company for allegedly helping to fuel the opioid crisis.

The pending settlement likely means Purdue will avoid going to trial in the sprawling and complicated case involving some 2,300 local governments across 23 states.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, has agreed to give up "the entire value" of the privately owned firm to settle claims that Purdue played a central role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

That's according to a spokesperson for the firm, who detailed the Sackler family's offer in an email sent to NPR on Monday.

"Additionally, the Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash as part of the global resolution," wrote Josephine Martin, Purdue Pharma's head of corporate affairs and communications.

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Ohio Department of Health officials say the number of fatal drug overdoses declined for the first time since 2009. 

Franklin County Public Health has received a three-year federal grant to enhance and accelerate the community's effort to fight the opiate crisis.

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Republican Ohio Attorney General David Yost is suing to stop upcoming trials seen as test cases for forcing drugmakers to pay for societal damage inflicted by the opioid epidemic.

 

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The family behind the maker of one of the main drugs blamed for the nation’s opioid crisis has reportedly offered 12 billion dollars to settle a federal case in Cleveland. 

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Confronted with a torrent of lawsuits across the U.S., several major drug companies are in discussions with authorities to resolve thousands of opioid-related suits filed against them. A government source close to the negotiations tells NPR that Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Endo International and Allergan are looking to cut deals.

The state has awarded the final round of prizes in its global technology challenge seeking scientific breakthroughs to address the opioid crisis. 

Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the state's opioid crisis by deceptively marketing painkillers, and must pay $572 million to the state.

Oklahoma sought $17.5 billion, blaming Johnson & Johnson for fueling the crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the state.

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

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Former Ohio State University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Governor John Kasich are forming a nonprofit organization that will work to steer money from any national opioid settlement to hospitals and health-based research. 

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Endo Pharmaceuticals says it has reached a settlement in its claims with the first two Ohio counties set to go to trial in the national opioid lawsuit. 

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The Franklin County Coroner's Office has issued a warning after a spike in drug overdose deaths. 

Dublin-based Cardinal Health is among three opioid distributors offering to pay 10 billion dollars to settle lawsuits filed by state and local governments over their alleged role in the nation's opioid crisis. 

Associated Press

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says evidence made public over the past two weeks makes clear that drugmakers were responsible for the U.S. opioid crisis. 

Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades.

Updated at 10:44 p.m. ET

For the first time, a federal court in Ohio is releasing a trove of data that offers far more detail about the size and scope of the nation's opioid epidemic — and about the role played by drug companies and pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Johnson & Johnson that profited from the rapid growth of prescription opioid sales.

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