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US Michigan sues Walgreens, other drug companies for causing opioid crisis

20:30  17 december  2019
20:30  17 december  2019 Source:   freep.com

Lacey man pleads guilty to manslaughter; sold lethal heroin-fentanyl mix

  Lacey man pleads guilty to manslaughter; sold lethal heroin-fentanyl mix Charles Rice of Lacey pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and two counts of distribution of heroin and fentanyl.Charles Rice, 58, of Lacey, is to be sentenced on Feb. 14, 2020, at which time the state will recommend a sentence of seven years in state prison with a three-year parole ineligibility on the drug distribution charges, according to a prepared statement from the Prosecutor's Office. Both terms would run at the same time.

The state of Michigan Tuesday filed a lawsuit against drug companies for damages created by the opioid epidemic.

a close up of Dana Nessel: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks about her plans Friday Jan. 4, 2019 from her new office in Lansing.© Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks about her plans Friday Jan. 4, 2019 from her new office in Lansing.

The suit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, charges McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Walgreens with creating the opioid epidemic by flooding the market with prescription pain pills and for selling the drugs without oversight, causing them to be easily diverted for illegal use.

Michigan is the first state in the nation to sue drug companies as drug dealers, according to the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Tuesday's suit was filed under the Drug Dealer Liability Act which allows for civil damages against people who participate in the illegal marketing of controlled damages;  may be a way around an existing Michigan law that makes it difficult to sue drug companies for drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

MLB to test for opioids, won't punish marijuana use in 2020

  MLB to test for opioids, won't punish marijuana use in 2020 Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to a new drug policy that will test for opioids and won't punish players for marijuana use, the league announced Thursday .© The Washington Post / GettyThe agreement will be implemented for the 2020 season. Under the new policy, players who test positive for opioids will be evaluated and, if deemed necessary, will receive treatment instead of being suspended, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in early December that treatment, as opposed to discipline, is the best approach.

The suit seeks damages for the increased costs of law enforcement and prosecution associated with the epidemic. It also seeks damages for health care costs, costs associated with early childhood education and special education for children born addicted to the drugs, drug treatment costs and other losses created by illegal drug use.

Citing a report from the Washington Post, the attorney general's office said nearly 3 billion opioid pills made it to Michigan between 2006 and 2012.

Opioid overdoses account for about 5 1/2 deaths a day in Michigan. In 2018, 2,036 people died from opioid overdoses, down a minuscule .8% from 2,053 in 2017.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she wants to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths by 50% over the next five  years.

Contact Georgea Kovanis: gkovanis@freepress.com

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan sues Walgreens, other drug companies for causing opioid crisis

Another grim Christmas looms for the 'cheated' children of W. Virginia .
“They feel cheated that they didn’t get to be a child, that they didn’t have years of being carefree,” the director of Camp Mariposa said.These are the boys and girls whose parents were stolen from them, whose families were splintered, by the plague of opioid addiction that has been ravaging the United States for several years, and which has hit their home state of West Virginia especially hard.

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