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opioid epidemic

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.

How Incarceration, Economic Decline Affect Opioid Deaths

Aug 26, 2019

As officials look for ways to stem the opioid epidemic, a lot of effort has been put into limiting narcotic prescriptions. But new research suggests underlying social issues -- like incarceration and poverty -- are linked to overdose deaths. 

An Oklahoma judge will announce a ruling Monday in the state's multibillion-dollar case against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson. The case is being closely watched to see if a court is prepared to hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis that took more than 47,000 American lives in 2017 alone.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich sits for an interview with The Associated Press at the Ohio Governor's Residence and Heritage Garden, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Columbus.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are creating a nonprofit that will fight to steer cash from any national opioid settlement to hospitals, rather than to local and state governments already sparring for control of the dollars.

Opioid Addiction And Stigma

Aug 16, 2019

The public perception of opioid addiction and the reality for addiction victims, their families and loved ones often stand in stark contrast. Stigma is the problem.

Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher: the opioid crisis and the role of stigma. 

See a list of community events featuring first-person stories from Not Far From Me.

Guests:

The federal judge overseeing thousands of opioid lawsuits appears poised to approve a pathway for resolving local government claims against the drug industry and dividing settlement dollars nationwide.  

“There has to be some vehicle to resolve these lawsuits,” U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster said during a Tuesday morning hearing in federal court in Cleveland.

Drug companies have not yet settled claims brought against them in federal court, but confidential settlement talks have continued since the start of the multi-district case.

Auditor Dave Yost (left) discusses the bill alongside Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), the chair of the Health, Human Services and Medicaid committee.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined several other state attorneys general in a letter to Congress that requests increased health care access for people struggling with opioid addiction.  

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks before signing his first executive action alongside his wife Fran, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Cedarville, Ohio. The former U.S. senator took his oath in a private midnight ceremony at his Cedarville home ahead of a public inaug
John Minchillo / AP

Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday that evidence recently made public makes clear that drugmakers were responsible for the deadly opioid crisis and that they had lied about the addictiveness of their painkillers.

Gov. Mike DeWine signs the executive order creating the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center on July 31, 2019.
Olivia Miltner / WOSU

Gov. Mike DeWine created the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center with an executive order on Wednesday.

How An Influx Of Opioids Took Its Toll On Jackson County, Ohio

Jul 19, 2019
Eddie Davis walks past tributes on his way to his son Jeremy's gravestone, who died from the abuse of opioids, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Coalton, Ohio.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The numbers are staggering: An average yearly total of 107 opioid pills per resident were distributed over a seven-year period in this rural county deep in Appalachia.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine handles a box of Narcan during a news conference on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

U.S. overdose deaths last year likely fell for the first time in nearly three decades, preliminary numbers suggest.

Gov. Mike DeWine, center, speaks between Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, left, and Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder during the Ohio State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Ohio would cut personal income taxes by 4%, raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21 and direct $550 million for educational wraparound services such as mental health counseling under the state budget that lawmakers belatedly sent to Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday, hours before their extended deadline.

Alyssa, left, discusses her academic record with teacher Leslie MacNabb.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Bouncing on a purple exercise ball, Alyssa talks to her new teacher about what classes she needs to graduate.

Updated 7:19 p.m., July 15, 2019

The federal judge presiding over nationwide opioid litigation has partially lifted an order that shielded years of drug sales data from public view.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster on Monday ordered the release of data on opioid sales from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System dated on or before Dec. 31, 2012.

Ohio Coroners Warn Of July Spike In Overdose Deaths

Jul 11, 2019
Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Ohio coroners are raising new warnings following a spike in drug overdose deaths.

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