opioids

Florida is suing drug companies that have steered more than $1 million to politicians over the last 20 years.

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Six U.S. states on Tuesday sued the maker of the opioid OxyContin of using deceptive marketing to boost drug sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is suing five major drug manufacturers, as well as drug distributors in a "comprehensive" lawsuit aimed at punishing them for the spread of opioid addiction.

Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies to explain how that happened.

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As Florida continues to deal with an opioid crisis, state corrections officials are moving ahead on a plan to cut substance-abuse services to make up a shortfall in health-care funding for the prison system.

A Jacksonville City Council committee voted Monday in favor of expanding and extending an opioid intervention pilot program called “Project Save Lives” that previously had been scheduled to end soon.

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A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to life in prison for supplying synthetic opioids to a woman who died in Florida.

Pain management physicians had a role in creating the opioid crisis and some of those doctors are now working to solve the problem.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The workers’ compensation system and the injured workers it serves are not immune from the nation’s opioid crisis, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. 

Osceola Sues Drug Companies Over Opioid Epidemic

Apr 24, 2018
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Osceola County is going after pharmaceutical companies. The county filed a lawsuit against several drug companies.

Florida’s U-S Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson have added a bipartisan proposal to a nationwide opioid bill that could go before the Senate.

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A University of Florida researcher and his team have developed a new tool to help doctors predict whether their patients are at risk of chronic pain. 

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In 2016, the city of Miami saw 641 opioid-related overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before. Now, attorneys for the city have filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County circuit court alleging that drug manufacturers violated Florida law by aggressively and deceptively marketing opioids as safe. 

Florida could soon be filing its own opioid abuse lawsuit against drug manufacturers. They’d be joining a long list of states, counties, and cities that have done the same.

From opioid prescription limits to an agreement on the regulation of trauma centers, it was a busy year for health care issues in the Florida Legislature.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Members of the Florida Board of Pharmacy were told Monday that it shouldn’t take long to alter regulations for pharmacists to comply with a new law aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.

Board of Pharmacy counsel David Flynn told members of the board’s Legislative Committee that, given the board’s experience in past crackdowns on controlled substances, it shouldn’t take long for the Board of Pharmacy to revamp the regulations.


Perhaps the most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis are babies born addicted. Known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, babies born to mothers who’ve taken opioids during pregnancy themselves must endure the painful symptoms of withdrawal during their first days of life.

Staying Alive: How To Fight An Opioid Addiction

Apr 2, 2018
Caitlin Hillyard/KHN

Rule No. 1: Stay alive.

If you or a loved one wants to beat an opioid addiction, first make sure you have a handy supply of naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose and save your life.

“Friends and families need to keep naloxone with them,” says Dr. David Kan, an addiction medicine specialist in Walnut Creek who is president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. “People using opioids should keep it with them, too.”

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In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Ind., rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye.

Sheila Dhand treats a lot of people who might not step foot in a health clinic or hospital — until an emergency.

"People don't want to show just anybody their wound," Dhand says. "A lot of time when talking about wounds, we're talking about drug use. And those things are so taboo."

There's more bad news about the nation's devastating opioid epidemic.

In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

House Poised To Pass Opioid Measure

Mar 1, 2018

The House on Thursday could approve a plan that would impose prescription limits to help address growing opioid use and abuse in Florida.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will support local officials in hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation's drug abuse crisis.

A measure in the House tackles Florida’s opioid crisis by rethinking how to regulate prescription medication. If successful, lawmakers hope the new set of rules can curb opioid abuse.

Medicaid Program Limiting Opioid Prescriptions

Feb 21, 2018

As lawmakers consider proposals to limit opioid prescriptions, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is taking steps to do the same in the Florida Medicaid program.

NPR's "Take A Number" series is exploring problems around the world — and solutions — through the lens of a single number.

One of the places many people are first prescribed opioids is a hospital emergency room. But in one of the busiest ERs in the U.S., doctors are relying less than they used to on oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids to ease patients' pain.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The sponsor of the Florida Senate's bill to combat the state's opioid crisis says it remains a work in progress even after passing its final committee.

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

The city of Sarasota is planning to file a lawsuit against a number of major pharmaceutical companies to recover damages from the opioid crisis. City Commissioners have voted to retain two attorneys to file the lawsuit. 

The maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.

The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces lawsuits for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it's cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.

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