What We’re Reading: $6 Billion Purdue Deal; Surgeon General Combats Misinformation; Strict Florida Abortion Ban

A new settlement is reached in the Purdue Pharma opioid lawsuit; the US Surgeon General sets out to tackle online health misinformation; Florida poised to enact the state's strictest abortion ban yet.

$6 Billion Purdue Settlement Reached

Purdue Pharma and its owners the Sackler family have reached a $6 billion deal with 9 state attorneys general, up from a previous settlement of $4.5 billion, NPR reports. Purdue Pharma is the maker of OxyContin, an opioid that helped fuel the overdose epidemic in the United States in recent years. The states with the highest overdose death rates in the country, including Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, were among those that demanded more money from the settlement. In a statement, the Sacklers voiced regret but still denied any wrongdoing, while critics have long accused the family of aggressive opioid marketing.

Surgeon General Requests Tech Company Data

The office of Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, issued a request seeking data from tech companies, health care providers, and community organizations surrounding health misinformation, according to CNN. It is the first time the administration has called on the tech companies to share certain information, including data on major sources of misinformation and who may have been targeted by campaigns, publicly. Murthy has said he wants tech companies to be more transparent and open about sharing data with the public and that the initiative will help researchers better study the impact of misinformation on social platforms.

Florida Abortion Ban Passed

Lawmakers in Florida have approved the state’s strictest abortion ban yet, which includes no exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking, POLITICO reports. Under the measure, which is expected to go into effect on July 1, women will be prohibited from receiving abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Currently, Florida law dictates a woman cannot receive the procedure after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The move comes as states around the country are considering codifying a 15-week ban into law. The Florida law is modeled on a similar one in Mississippi.

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