Local government leaders across the country were hopeful that the opioid settlements with drugmakers would look something like the ones with Big Tobacco in the ’90s. But it’s starting to look it will likely be less than half of that payout.
The New York Times: Payout From A National Opioids Settlement Won’t Be As Big As Hoped
As talks escalate to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits nationwide, a harsh reality is emerging: The money the pharmaceutical industry will pay to compensate ravaged communities will likely be far less than once envisioned. Lawyers on all sides have been stepping up efforts to reach a national agreement before the start of a New York trial next month. But even plaintiff lawyers now believe the payout from dozens of opioid makers, distributors and retailers is likely to be less than half of what the four Big Tobacco companies agreed to pay more than 20 years ago in a landmark settlement with states over costs associated with millions of smoking-related deaths. (Hoffman, 2/17)
In other news from the epidemic —
The CT Mirror: Connecticut Drug Overdose Deaths Up, With Fentanyl Leading Fatalities
The number of people who died in Connecticut from drug overdoses in 2019 was the most the state has recorded in a single year, even after a dip in deaths in 2018. New state data show that 1,200 people died, an 18% jump from the previous year, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Opioids continue to drive fatal overdoses — different kinds like heroin, morphine and prescription drugs were involved in 94% of all cases. But Dr. James Gill, the state’s chief medical examiner, said the stronger synthetic opioid fentanyl remains a constant presence in deadly outcomes. (Leonard, 2/17)
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