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Drugs firms reach $260m US opioid settlement

Drugs firms reach $260m US opioid settlement

Business
Four drugs companies have reached a $ 260m (£200m) deal with two Ohio counties over their role in fuelling the US opioid crisis.The agreement averts a trial that had been scheduled to start in Cleveland.The counties had been seeking billions from Israel-based drugmaker Teva and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.A trial for Walgreens Boots Alliance, which had also been accused, will be rescheduled.The last-minute deal was announced on Monday by the judge overseeing the trial in Cleveland. Talks over a bigger settlement, which would have resolved claims brought by thousands of other cities, counties and states, had collapsed on Friday. The companies, which have denied wrongdoing, are accused of ignoring suspicious orders and

Settlement money won’t restore Ohio city upended by opioids

Health
The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. But for public officials in Akron, no amount of money will restore the families and institutions that were upended by prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. "The overwhelming sense of hopelessness that took over this community in 2016, you can't monetize that," former Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Greta Johnson told lawyers in a deposition in January. "Every single day the newspaper was reporting on the overdose death rates. You could not go into a community setting where there were not weeping mothers talking about their children." OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma struck a pr...
Musk mocks US financial watchdog after settlement

Musk mocks US financial watchdog after settlement

Technology
Elon Musk has hit out at the US financial regulator just days after they reached a deal on fraud charges against him. The Tesla boss agreed to pay a fine of $ 20m (£15m) to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a tweet he had written boasting that he had funding to take his firm private.The SEC had alleged that Musk did not have the estimated $ 25-50bn needed to make that deal happen.After initially refusing an offer to settle the case, Mr Musk backed down, agreeing that he and his company would each pay a $ 20m fine, he would step down as Tesla's chairman (but remain chief executive), and that he would allow oversight of his communications about company news.But in a tweet late on Thursday, Mr Musk described the SEC as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission...