Project Opioid For Opioid Affected People In Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County has launched Project Opioid, which focuses on dealing with the opioid crisis by addressing the issues of the people and families affected because of the epidemic.
The goal of the project is to bring all the community leaders together and develop solutions to tackle the opioid crisis in Santa Barbara County. The county has witnessed a high number of overdose deaths recently, which has adversely affected the communities and families.
The community leaders will play an effective role to deal with the crisis as compared to the public safety programs. The leaders would educate the people in the churches by preventing fatalities and future opioid crisis.
A psychologist from the County Sheriff's Office of Santa Barbara said that people use drugs if they have any issue or problem, and using them can be useful to find a solution for the problem.
A commander from Santa Barbara City Police Department said that the people are losing their loved ones due to the epidemic, and thus the project is vital for the safety of the community. He even informed that the people are dying from poisoning as they are unknowingly consuming fentanyl which is a powerful and addictive opioid.
The Mayor of Lompoc City said that the community will not only benefit from learning of different types of treatments and services available but will also support the people suffering from opioid addiction.
People use opiates as a solution for chronic pain, and if one psychologist prescribes the drug, many individuals start using them. Eventually, they develop withdrawal and tolerance to that drug which becomes problematic for them.
Santa Barbara County reported 133 overdose deaths between January 2020 and January 2021, and 7.5% of them were because of fentanyl, which is a powerful opioid used as a pain medication.
UVA Launches HOPE App For People Affected From Opioids
The University of Virginia Health System has launched a new app called HOPE that will help people struggling with opioid addiction.
HOPE stands for Heal Overcome Persist Endure, and it aims to provide support to patients battling opioid-use disorder. It offers a secure way to connect with the care providers by providing an anonymous message board where the users can share their experiences and problems. This will help the users to build healing relationships with other people affected by opioids and make them understand the challenges faced.
The initial test of the app involved a small group of patients who were at high risk of getting disengaged from their treatment programs, and the results were magnificent, as more than half of them were still receiving care six months later. The app instantly became a success. Some of the opioid-stressed patients who stopped visiting their care providers also continued with the program by using the app.
An infectious disease expert at UVA who helped to develop the app said that the app's developing team is excited to see that the patients are using the app to continue with the recovery services. The faculty even informed that the design of the app was developed by partnering with the patients, which helped to create a welcoming, low-barrier portal to facilitate staying in care.
The developers are encouraged and pleased with the initial results of the app. They even informed that additional testing of the app is required to implement it for the larger groups.
The app will play a significant role in the future to deal with the opioid crisis throughout the United States as the nation recorded more than 500,000 overdose deaths over two decades which is a major concern for the population.
Washington To Get $18M From Mallinckrodt Over Opioid Crisis
The drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt which has been announced to be bankrupt will have to pay an $18 million settlement to Washington over its role in fueling the opioid crisis in the state.
Washington's attorney general said that the company's share in the opioid settlement might exceed $27 million if it considers paying the amount for a longer period of time instead of disbursing the lump sum amount. The company needs to decide the method of payment within 18 months.
Mallinckrodt will also pay $514,702 for underpayment of Medicaid rebates over a drug it produced called “Acthar” as part of the bankruptcy.
These payments will support the state to increase prevention efforts and help the affected people to deal with the crisis. The AG stated that the companies responsible for fueling the opioid crisis must help the state address the crisis. He even added that the attorneys will continue the fight against the epidemic to deliver as many resources into the communities.
The company faces several investigations and lawsuits from multiple state attorneys general and filed for bankruptcy in October 2020, citing the huge amount of payments that total up to $1.2 to $1.6 billion to resolve the liabilities.
Mallinckrodt manufactures a generic version of oxycodone and is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S., with its corporate headquarters located in Ireland. As per the database provided by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, one of the subsidiary companies of Mallinckrodt distributed 28.9 billion oxycodone pills from 2006 to 2012 across the nation accounting for up to 80 pills for each person in the U.S.
Pharmacy Chains To Pay $878M Over Opioid Crisis In Ohio
CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Walmart Inc are required to fund a settlement plan of $878 million which will address the companies' role in the opioid crisis in two Northeast Ohio counties.
In November, a federal jury ruled that the companies played a major role in creating a public nuisance in Ohio's Lake and Trumbull counties by flooding the counties with addictive prescription pain pills.
The attorney representing the counties said that the counties are now looking forward to getting an $878 million five-year plan to deal with the opioid crisis. The statement was made by the attorney in front of U.S. Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, where the trial was ongoing.
CVS, Walgreens and Walmart responded to the ruling by stating that they deny the claims made by the counties and would appeal the November verdict. The companies have planned to buy back unused prescription opioid drugs in the two counties by implementing a one-year program. The companies even argued that Ohio's public nuisance law demands the companies to stop only the nuisance identified by the jury, which includes an oversupply of the drugs.
The companies argued that they should not be forced to cover costs related to illegal drug use if they must buy the drugs back. The counties argued that the oversupply of prescription drugs resulted in creating a market for illegal drugs like heroin and synthetic fentanyl.
According to the data provided by the government, the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has resulted in more than 500,000 overdose deaths over two decades. A recent wave of proposed settlements indicates that drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains face more than 3,300 opioid lawsuits against them over the opioid crisis.
$119M Opioid Crisis Settlement Announced By Idaho
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and three major drug distributors have reached a $119 million settlement with the Idaho officials over the companies' role in the opioid crisis.
It is the second-largest consumer settlement in state history after the national tobacco settlement of $712 million in 1998. The state became eligible for a minimum of $64 million settlement, but the participation of the local government entities has resulted in boosting the amount to $119 million.
The attorneys representing the state said that Idaho had implemented several ways to deal with the opioid crisis throughout the past few years, and the current settlement would offer additional resources to combat the crisis.
As per the agreement, J&J would pay $21 million over nine years, whereas the drug distributors are required to pay $98 million over 18 years. The settlement amount would be a huge asset to the state for funding treatment, recovery, and prevention programmes in Idaho.
The agreement even states the breakup of the amount by allocating 40% of the money to the participating counties and cities, 20% to regional public health districts, and the remaining 40% would go to the state-directed opioid settlement fund.
Apart from settlement, the agreement even provided guidelines on the sale and distribution of opioids. The agreement even calls for an independent monitoring process that will stop the deliveries of opioids in case of misuse occurring. J&J is banned from selling and promoting opioids as per the agreement.
In February, J&J, along with the three drug distributors, reached a $26 billion national opioid settlement to deal with the nationwide crisis. In 2017, the federal government declared a public health emergency, and the settlement will address the damage caused because of the crisis.