or drug distributors and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson finalized a $26 billion agreement on Friday to bring relief to states and communities affected by the opioid epidemic, in what lawyers say is a turning point in the deadly public health crisis.
The landmark trial in West Virginia against drug distributors known as the “Big Three” — AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — comes after an 11th-hour settlement averted an Ohio trial in October 2019 and coronavirus-related delays stalled opioid cases across the country
“There is no financial stake large enough,” to make up for what’s happened to the newspaper industry in the past two decades, said Farrell, the lead lawyer in HD Media’s suit against the tech giants. Nationwide, more than 2,000 local newspapers have shuttered since 2004; half of all newsroom jobs have been eliminated. That tragic trend has only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, just when the information they provide is most needed.
Courts have hesitated to move to virtual settings, in large part because the scale of the opioid litigation — thought to be the most complex in U.S. history — makes it difficult to hold a trial by video conference. The city of Huntington and Cabell County in West Virginia, concerned that delays would continue as long as the virus was rampant, pushed to move the trial to a video option but didn’t succeed.
“There is no vaccine to a lifetime of opioid addiction,” said Farrell, who helped initiate the litigation from his home base in Huntington, W.Va., one of the epicenters of the crisis. “We still have an underlying opioid epidemic that has been exacerbated by the covid outbreak.”
As cities and counties continue to grapple with the historic public health disaster, they wonder how much money it will take to undo the damage from opioids.
This article was originally published in The Washington Post. Paul Farrell Jr., a West Virginia attorney driving a massive lawsuit against drug companies.
This story was originally published by the Washington Post. By Joel Achenbach CLEVELAND — ARCOS was a secret database. The powerful interests who knew all about it — the drug industry and the federal government, specifically — wanted to maintain that secrecy. ARCOS, for Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, was established by the Drug Enforcement Administration to track …
America’s largest drug companies saturated the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006 through 2012 as the nation’s deadliest drug epidemic spun out of control, according to previously undisclosed company data released as part of the largest civil action in U.S. history.