Wednesday November 20, 2019

Drug Companies Reach $215 Million Settlement to Avoid Trial over their Role in Deadly Opioid Addiction Crisis

The case has been viewed as a harbinger for similar lawsuits filed by more than 2,700 local and state governments across the country in hopes

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Drug, Companies, Opioid
Summit county executive Ilene Shapiro speaks to the media outside the U.S. Federal courthouse, Oct. 21, 2019, in Cleveland. VOA

A major pharmaceutical company and three of the biggest drug distributors in the U.S. have reached a $260 million settlement with two counties in Ohio to avoid a trial over their role in the deadly opioid addiction crisis gripping America.

The deal, struck Monday, came just hours before the opening arguments in a court in Cleveland, Ohio. The case has been viewed as a harbinger for similar lawsuits filed by more than  2,700 local and state governments across the country in hopes of recouping damages from the crisis.

Drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen will pay $215 million in reparations. Israeli drug manufacturer Teva will pay $20 million in cash and also contribute $25 million worth of Suboxone, used to treat opioid addiction.

“People can’t lose sight of the fact that the counties got a very good deal for themselves, but we also set an important national benchmark for the others,” said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Cuyahoga County.

Drug, Companies, Opioid
The deal, struck Monday, came just hours before the opening arguments in a court in Cleveland, Ohio. Pixabay

Cuyahoga and Summit counties had brought the lawsuit that accused the four companies of fueling a nationwide opioid crisis.

According to U.S. government data, opioids have led to some 400,000 overdose deaths between 1997 and 2017.

Lawyers say the settlement will provide local governments with the finances needed to establish opioid-recovery programs.

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Attempts to reach a nationwide settlement broke down last week after cities and counties suing the drug companies rejected an offer of $48 billion in cash, treatment drugs and services. (VOA)

Next Story

China Okays Sale of First Home-Grown Drug for Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

A multi-centre global phase 3 clinical trial with sites in the US, Europe and Asia is planned to be initiated in early 2020

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China, Home, Drug
Oligomannate will provide a new treatment option to fight Alzheimer's disease for patients and is expected to be available in China by the end of 2019, Green Valley Pharmaceutical said on Saturday. Pixabay

China has approved the first home-grown drug for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and improving cognitive function”, according to its developers.

The new drug, Oligomannate (GV-971), is the first to be approved for Alzheimer’s disease globally since 2003, said Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., which developed the drug along with Ocean University of China, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Oligomannate will provide a new treatment option to fight Alzheimer’s disease for patients and is expected to be available in China by the end of 2019, Green Valley Pharmaceutical said on Saturday.

A multi-centre global phase 3 clinical trial with sites in the US, Europe and Asia is planned to be initiated in early 2020 to support global regulatory filing of Oligomannate.

China, Home, Drug
The new drug, Oligomannate (GV-971), is the first to be approved for Alzheimer’s disease globally since 2003, said Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., which developed the drug along with Ocean University of China, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under Chinese Academy of Sciences. Pixabay

An effective treatment for Alzheimer’s that affects about 48 million people in the world could easily become a big hit globally.

China’s National Medical Products Administration granted Oligomannate fast-track review in November 2018.

Over 800 patients with the diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzhemer’s disease completed the Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in 34 tier-1 hospitals across China.

Results of the 36-week-long study showed that Oligomannate can improve cognitive function in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients as early as week 4 and the benefit was sustained at each follow-up assessment visit.

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that impairs memory, affecting the ability of patients to carry out simple tasks. (IANS)