opioid epidemic

Deadly heart infections linked to drug use rose nationally from 8 percent to 16 percent from 2002 to 2016, according to a new study from the Cleveland Clinic.

The majority of patients with the abuse-related illness were younger, low-income white males on Medicaid. Regionally across the United States, the Midwest saw the largest increases in these cases.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday night, just days after striking a settlement with more than 2,000 local governments over its alleged role in creating and sustaining the deadly 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.

A three-year, $13.2 million federal grant will help the Cuyahoga County Board of Health collect better data on opioid overdoses, health officials announced this week.

The county will get $4.4 million annually through 2021 to help the board gather and share numbers on suspected drug overdoses.

prescription drugs in hand
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Franklin County will receive nearly $4 million annually for the next three years to better track and respond to opioid abuse.

Opioid Lawsuits

Sep 3, 2019
Dave Yost speaks at the Ohio Republican Party event, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Yost was elected as the next Ohio attorney general.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Attorney General Dave Yost has had a bill drafted that would empower his office to take over local-government opioid lawsuits. The prospects for such an endeavor.

The measure has not been introduced, but already opponents are lining up against the plan.

Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher: who controls the opioid-related lawsuits in Ohio. 

Safe Point is Central Ohio's only needle exchange program.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

West Park Avenue looks like an idyllic Columbus street: A-tree lined boulevard cuts through the middle, and every house has a porch and a small front yard.

But looking closer, it’s clear the neighborhood has been hit by the opioid crisis. A few houses are boarded up, and orange caps from syringes litter the sidewalk.

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot / AP

The number of fatal drug overdoses in Ohio declined for the first time since 2009, according to state health officials, a milestone in the state's ongoing battle with the deadly opioid epidemic.

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

Upcoming trials seen as test cases for forcing drugmakers to pay for societal damage inflicted by the opioid epidemic should be delayed until Ohio's own lawsuits against the drugmakers can be heard, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost argued in a lawsuit.

Last month, Cleveland's home-grown moviemakers Joe and Anthony Russo broke the all-time box office record with their latest film, "Avengers: Endgame," surpassing 2009's “Avatar.” Their next movie, “Cherry," will focus on a much more modest story centered around Northeast Ohio’s opioid crisis. Anthony Russo was in town recently, and he doesn’t see the new film as a conscious attempt to step back from super heroes.

Updated: 4:18 p.m., Aug. 28, 2019

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has circulated draft legislation that could allow the state — not counties — to take the lead in lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

The news comes as Purdue Pharma considers a settlement, reportedly valued at $10 billion to $12 billion, with more than 2,000 local governments suing drug companies over the opioid crisis.

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.

An app developed by DynamiCare is one of the four winners of Ohio's Opioid Technology Challenge.
State Of Ohio

Ohio's Opioid Technology Challenge has reached its final stage. The multi-year contest set aside $8 million with the hopes of spurring technological solutions to the drug crisis.

Ohio University

Ohio University received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help increase health providers in areas hit hardest by 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.

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