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Sackler Family, the Maker of OxyContin, Will Be Shielded From Lawsuits as Part of $6 Billion Settlement
A federal appeals court cleared the way for the maker of OxyContin to settle thousands of legal claims tied to the opioid epidemic while shielding the wealthy owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, from future lawsuits.
Under the plan approved Tuesday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, members of the wealthy Sackler family would give up ownership of Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, which would become a new company known as Knoa, with its profits being sent to a fund to prevent and treat addiction.
Family members would also contribute $5.5 billion to $6 billion in cash over time, or around half of what the court found to be their collective fortune, much of it held offshore. A chunk of that money — at least $750 million — is to go to individual victims of the opioid crisis and their survivors. Payments are expected to range from about $3,500 to $48,000.
Tuesday’s decision also protects members of the Sackler family from lawsuits over the toll of opioids, even though they did not file for bankruptcy.
6 out of 10 Fake Prescription Pills Are Laced With Fentanyl. Warn Your Kids.
Fentanyl is a lab-made opioid developed to treat severe pain. Like other opioids, it’s extremely effective — and extremely addictive. As the opioid crisis raged through the mid-1990s, people addicted to prescription opioids turned to the street.
Drug traffickers were all too happy to oblige, quickly realizing that fentanyl is cheap and easy to produce. They added it to street drugs such as cocaine to hook people fast. Then, they used it in pills deliberately made to look like Adderall, Xanax and other prescription medications.
Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration estimates 6 out of 10 fake prescription pills are laced with fentanyl. What happens when a drug 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine is carelessly mass-produced by drug traffickers?
COVID Vaccine Injury Payout Plan Push Comes After Emergency End
Thousands of COVID-19 vaccine injury allegations have been submitted to the federal government and are unlikely to be reviewed any time soon without intervention by the Biden administration and Congress, according to attorneys whose potential clients feel they have nowhere to turn.
Appendicitis, cognitive difficulty, abdominal pain, and abnormal heart rhythm are just some of the COVID vaccine-related injuries cited by the 8,208 individuals who have filed requests for benefits with the Health and Human Services Department’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. The CICP has reached only 749 decisions on claims related to COVID treatments, with four cases resulting in compensation.
Now, with the public health emergency officially over, attorneys say it’s time for the administration and Congress to move COVID vaccine injury claims to a program they say is better suited for addressing them. But doing so would require lawmakers to tackle some much-needed reforms.
“A lot of these people have devastating injuries, and they need at least a fair shot at compensation,” Renee Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University said.
After Price Cuts, Eli Lilly Inks $13.5 Million Settlement in Long-Running Insulin Lawsuit
Eli Lilly has agreed to pay $13.5 million to end a six-year, class-action lawsuit that alleged the company overpriced its insulin.
As part of the settlement, which was recorded in a federal district court in New Jersey, Lilly has agreed to cap out-of-pocket costs for its insulin at $35 per month for four years.
The deal comes three months after the company said it would slash the price of the type 1 diabetes treatment to the same level to “make it easier to access Lilly insulin and help Americans who may have difficulty navigating a complex healthcare system.”
NICE Gives Thumbs-Up to Pfizer’s Migraine Drug — but With Lots of Restrictions
Biohaven had little trouble gaining approval in the U.S. and the EU for its migraine medicine Nurtec (rimegepant), as regulators have signed off on the medicine to both treat and prevent attacks.
Convincing experts of its value and safety in the British Isles hasn’t been as easy. Tuesday, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended approval of the oral CGRP antagonist but with lots of restrictions.
NICE endorsed Vydura — the med’s commercial name in Europe — only as a fourth-line option for those who have between four and 15 migraine attacks per month. Users must have already tried three other oral preventive treatments — tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline, beta-blocker propranolol and epilepsy drug topiramate.
Since Pfizer completed its acquisition of Biohaven for $11.6 billion last year, it has not been smooth sailing for Nurtec. In March, the company recalled 4.2 million units because of a failure to comply with childproof packaging requirements, which created a potential risk of poisoning kids.
Pfizer reported sales of $167 million for Nurtec/Vydura in the first quarter of this year.
Hernia Mesh Settlement Payouts Resolved Group of Lawsuits Against Ethicon
A group of more than 160 plaintiffs indicates they have finalized settlements to resolve their hernia mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary, marking some of the first of what is expected to be several thousand hernia mesh settlements reached to resolve allegations that the company sold a defective polypropylene product, which often failed, resulting in injuries and the need for revision surgery.
Johnson & Johnson has faced more than 4,000 Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits throughout the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that the manufacturer sold an unreasonably dangerous and defective product, which caused plaintiffs to suffer severe abdominal pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesions, perforations, erosion and other injuries associated with failure of the hernia mesh.
Most of the claims have since been reportedly resolved through a global settlement agreement, but finalizing the disbursement of funds has been slow.
Philips CPAP Lawsuit Filing Deadlines May Be Approaching in Some Claims
With the two-year anniversary of a massive Philips DreamStation, CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilator recall approaching in the next few weeks, a spike in new claims filed and registered on a tolling agreement is expected, since the manufacturer may argue the recall announcement establishes a Philips CPAP lawsuit filing deadline for some claimants.
Philips Respironics first announced the CPAP machine recall on June 14, 2021, impacting millions of devices that contained a defective sound abatement foam, which can break down and release toxic particles and gasses directly into the sleep apnea machine’s air pathways.
Shortly after the manufacturer issued the recall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about serious health risks from the Philips CPAP foam, instructing individuals to stop using the recalled machines unless needed for life-sustaining therapy.
Reports have surfaced over the past two years involving former users developing various cancers, lymphoma, lung damage and other injuries linked to the toxic chemicals and gasses released as the sound abatement foam breaks down, and tens of thousands of Philips CPAP recall lawsuits are expected to be filed against the manufacturer.