Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva agreed on Sunday to pay the US state of Oklahoma $85 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of fueling the state’s opioid epidemic, Oklahoma’s attorney general said.
The announcement comes after Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin — a key driver of the crisis responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States — reached a $270 million settlement with the state in March.
Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement the Teva settlement shows Oklahoma’s “resolve to hold the defendants in this case accountable for the ongoing opioid overdose and addiction epidemic that continues to claim thousands of lives each year.”
The money will be used by the midwestern state to fight the opioid crisis, Hunter said, with an announcement of how exactly it will be spent made in the future.
Meanwhile, another pharmaceutical titan, Johnson & Johnson, is set to go on trial in Oklahoma on Tuesday, with the company facing similar accusations that it aggressively promoted opioid painkillers despite knowing the risks of addiction.
Overdoses from prescription painkillers and heroin — a last-resort illicit drug for opioid addicts — exploded over the last 20 years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Almost 400,000 people have died from an overdose involving prescription or illicit opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty were among the high-profile victims of the epidemic.
USA mystified by ’15 Donald Trumps’ jibe at Rugby World Cup
USA coach Gary Gold said he was mystified by a comment from England's Eddie Jones that the Eagles would play like "15 Donald Trumps" when they meet at the Rugby World Cup.
"I've absolutely no idea what he means by that," Gold said, ahead of Thursday's game in Kobe.
"We're just a team that's really got to focus on our own processes at the moment. We've got to worry about what we do when we get onto the rugby field.
"At this stage, with all due respect, we're not a good enough rugby team to be making comments or answers to questions like that. I don't know what it means."
‘Absolutely disgusting’: Trump slammed for trolling Greta Thunberg climate speech
US President Donald Trump stirred up fresh outrage on social media Monday with a tweet mocking an impassioned speech made by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg at the UN climate summit in New York.
Her voice shaking with emotion in an address that was the defining moment of the summit, Thunberg accused world leaders of betraying her generation by failing to act on rising emissions, repeating the words "how dare you" four times.
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I'm one of the lucky ones," she said. "People are suffering. People are dying."
Japan refers US military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash
Japanese authorities on Tuesday referred the case of a US military pilot to prosecutors over the 2016 crash of an Osprey aircraft that fuelled sentiment against a US base on Okinawa island.
The crash did not kill anyone and only caused injuries to two of the five crew members aboard the US Marine MV-22 Osprey.
The Pentagon described the December 2016 crash as a "mishap", which saw the plane end up in shallow water off Okinawa.
But Japanese coast guard officials on Tuesday referred the case to prosecutors on suspicion that the pilot had been flying too fast, causing the crash, a coast guard spokesman said.