Opioid Crisis: Johnson & Johnson Settles Lawsuits, Sidesteps Trial

In order to avoid the “resource demands and uncertainty of a trial” Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay counties Cuyahoga and Summit of Ohio $20.4 million to assist in opioid crisis recovery.

With the two counties accepting settlements, Johnson & Johnson sidesteps the upcoming opioid trial that has been referred to as a bellwether for the thousands of pending opioid lawsuits. In an official statement, the pharmaceutical giant has stated openness to mass settlement while vehemently defending their practices both before and during the opioid crisis.

HIV: FDA Approves Second HIV Prevention Drug

Last Wednesday, the FDA approved Decsovy (emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg), a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication that may prevent HIV. The drug produced by Truvada’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has already been used to reduce HIV-1 viral levels for some time.

According to Gilead’s CEO, Daniel O’Day, the addition of Descovy as an option for HIV prevention in certain populations can provide an HIV prevention drug that doesn’t have the renal or bone health risks associated with Truvada. In studies testing the efficacy of Descovy, one of the only significant adverse side effects noted was diarrhea.

Talcum Trials: California Couple Brought To Justice

Last Friday, a jury delivered a verdict in favor of Phil and Nancy Cabibi. The judgment included $1.2 million in economic damages; $19.1 million for past and future damages, and $20 million for Phil Cabibi’s damages, which included lost marital relations, companionship, and love. 

Although Johnson & Johnson was fined by the jury, there were no punitive damages because neither the judge nor the jury believed that the company acted with malice, fraud, or negligence. Johnson & Johnson have announced immediate intent to appeal the verdict.

JUUL: More Bans Proposed on E-Cigarette Usage

The governors of Oregon and Washington state have recently urged their respective health agencies to take steps to prevent e-cigarette use after the CDC estimates a total of 800 citizens have been negatively affected by the epidemic. In Oregon, state officials have suggested a 6-month cessation of any e-cigarette products in the state. Meanwhile, Washington’s State Board of Health has announced intentions to use emergency rulemaking authority to ban all flavored vaping products, including THC products, at its next meeting on Oct 9.

Overseas, the government of India has also issued a ban on importing vaping products last month and is now defending their actions in court. Solicitor general Aman Lekhi says the government was acting in reaction to the news of an e-cigarette epidemic. Last Monday also marked the surrender of JUUL Labs in their fight for Proposition C in San Francisco, a ballot measure aimed at overturning the city’s anti-vaping law. The e-cigarettes company announced that the move was sparked by efforts to “responsibly lead the industry.”

Breast Implants: New Zealand and South Korea Enact Protections Against BIA-ALCL

New Zealand’s Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition chair, Dr. Libby Burgess has suggested last week that the New Zealand Health Ministry mirror Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and ban eight models of breast implant that pose a health risk to women. Dr. Burgess stated that although the implants may not be used in the country, the ban could help protect women from unnecessary risk.