Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will pay Oklahoma $85 million to settle an opioid lawsuit, the state’s attorney general announced. That suit — which was also filed against Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson — claimed the companies convinced physicians to push opioids, causing mass abuse of the drugs in Oklahoma. Purdue paid $270 million to settle, while the state planned to take Johnson & Johson to court over accusations it provided narcotic ingredients used in "much of the U.S. prescription opioid supply."
Class discussion: What are opioids? How widespread is both the use and abuse of opioids? Do you know anyone who has been addicted to opioids? How and when did the “opioid crisis” start? Did a drive for drug company profits have any role? How many Americans die from overdoses each year? How does that compare to drug overdoses 30 years ago? The U.S. consumes about 80 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical opioid supply. What should the government, health care providers and drug companies do about it?