What We’re Reading: J&J Loses Appeal; Opioid Settlement in the Works; Diabetes Prevention Results Released

A decision was upheld that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) must pay a $2.1-billion fine from a 2018 court decision; 3 major drug distributors face up to $18 billion in opioid-related fines; a new diabetes prevention platform may assist in symptom prevention.

J&J Baby Powder Lawsuit Decision Upheld

Missouri’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision from 2018 that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) must pay $2.1 billion in damages related to a talc-based powder lawsuit, reports Bloomberg. The amount was awarded after a St Louis jury determined that the powder, which was shown to be laced with asbestos, was a principal culprit in 20 ovarian cancers. Close to 20,000 lawsuits are still pending related to instances of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, the latter of which specifically results from inhaled asbestos fibers. Talc-based baby powder was removed from US and Canadian shelves in October after the pharmaceutical giant agreed to stop selling them in May.

McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health on Hook for Billions

The 3 major drug distributors, says Reuters, proposed a settlement of $18 billion for 3200 lawsuits related to the ongoing opioid crisis. Although this amount was negotiated with 4 state attorneys general—J&J is also a party to the lawsuits and will contribute an additional $5 billion—talks are ongoing, with local governments “desperately in need of relief,” but several states still resistant to the proposal. McKesson’s portion of $8 billion would be paid out over 18 years.

Omada Health Releases Data on Novel Diabetes Prevention Program

The digital health company’s research results, according to Stat News, show the possibility of a new inroad into diabetes symptom prevention when a virtual platform is combined with in-person treatment. Findings from a randomized controlled trial of close to 600 patients with prediabetes show more weight was lost and there was greater improvement in blood sugar rates compared with a basic educational health program: 5.4% vs 2.0% and 0.23% vs 0.15%, respectively. Experts caution that the results are not generalizable to a wider population, however, because of missing data pertaining to socioeconomic status, race, and gender.

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