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Synthetic Drugs

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As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday said he has formally rejected the state's proposed part of a $26 billion settlement with the nation's three largest drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson related to the opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

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The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday when lawyers for local governments announced they were on the verge of a $26 billion settlement with the nation's three biggest drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A $26 billion settlement between the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and thousands of states and municipalities that sued over the toll of the opioid crisis is certainly significant — but it is far from tying a neat bow on the tangle of still unresolved lawsuits surrounding the epidemic.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he will oppose OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan, arguing that his state, one of the hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, would get shorted in settlement money.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada prison officials say one of the drugs they originally planned to use this month in the state’s first execution of an inmate in 15 years expires July 31. Another expires six weeks after a new evidentiary hearing a judge now has scheduled in October to decide if or when four-time convicted killer Zane Michael Floyd will receive a lethal injection.

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former traveling medical technician who stole drugs and infected more than 40 patients with hepatitis C will remain in prison after a judge called his request for compassionate release “the least meritorious” he’d ever seen.

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