Pharmaceuticals

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

A jury in Boston has found onetime billionaire and drug company executive John Kapoor and his four co-defendants guilty of a racketeering conspiracy. The verdict came Wednesday after 15 days of deliberation.

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

Consumers, lawmakers and industry players all seem to agree that prescription drugs prices are too high. What they can't always agree on is whom to blame.

On Tuesday, though, fingers are expected to point toward pharmacy benefit managers, the industry's mysterious middlemen.

The Senate Finance Committee will hear from executives from the biggest pharmacy benefit managers, led by CVS Caremark and Cigna's Express Scripts.

A week after winning a $270 million settlement against Purdue Pharma, Oklahoma is dropping a laundry list of civil claims against drug companies at the center of the national opioid epidemic. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the move would "refocus" the lawsuit slated to go to trial May 28.

Two months ago, Paul Lara saw a letter from his doctor to his insurance company. He recalls looking at the bottom of the page, next to the doctor's signature, "It says: Does this patient have cancer? He marked yes."

Only one problem: Paul Lara has never had cancer.

After decades as a commercial fisherman in Texas, Lara was badly injured on the job. In 2013, his doctor prescribed a high dose of an opioid called Subsys for Lara's back and neck pain. The fentanyl-based spray can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

New York state Attorney General Letitia James leveled the fiercest legal broadside yet against the Sackler family, owners of the privately-held Purdue Pharma which makes the powerful prescription painkiller Oxycontin.

A civil suit filed Thursday accuses eight members of the family of personally contributing to the deadly opioid epidemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans over the last two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Updated at 3:20 p.m.

The first of more than 1,600 lawsuits pending against Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin, has been settled.

The drugmaker has agreed to pay $270 million to fund addiction research and treatment in Oklahoma and pay legal fees.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed suit two years ago alleging Purdue helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing of the blockbuster drug OxyContin and deceptive claims that downplayed the dangers of addiction.

A new drug to treat postpartum depression is likely to reach the U.S. market in June, with a $34,000 price tag.

If you have a bad reaction to a medicine, it might not be the drug itself, but what are called "inactive ingredients" in the pill or capsule.

An article published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine surveys this field and finds ingredients that are potentially troublesome for some people are ubiquitous.

America's big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.

Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.

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