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DOVER, Del. (AP) —  A Delaware judge has ordered one of the world's largest distributors of opioid painkillers to turn over corporate records to shareholders investigating possible wrongdoing.

The judge ruled Monday that shareholders of AmerisourceBergen are entitled to inspect formal board materials.

They also will be allowed to conduct a deposition to determine whether there are other materials they should be entitled to see.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has refused a request by Delaware's attorney general to accept an appeal of a judge's ruling dismissing Walgreens as a defendant in a lawsuit against the drug industry over the opioid crisis.  

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there were no exceptional circumstances justifying an interlocutory review of the judge's decision.  

An interlocutory appeal is one made before the underlying case is resolved in the lower court and typically is granted only in rare circumstances.

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DOVER, Del. (AP)- A judge who dismissed Walgreens as a defendant in Delaware's lawsuit against the drug industry over the opioid crisis has denied the government's request to certify an appeal to Delaware's Supreme Court.
Wednesday's ruling follows the judge's denial in September of the state's request for reargument on her dismissal ruling.
State officials have accused the pharmaceutical industry of misleading doctors and consumers about addiction and other risks from prescription painkillers.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The state of Delaware has teamed up with Google to help people seeking treatment for opioid addiction.

The Wilmington News Journal reported Thursday that words related to the opioid crisis are searched for in Delaware more than in any other state. But the top set of results won't lead to local information or someone who can help.

Google is trying to change that. It will curate an information box for people searching for addiction treatment. It will include a hotline as well as a link to information specific to Delaware.

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Delaware ranks fifth in the country for children affected by the opioid epidemic.

That’s according to a 2017 study by the United Hospital Fund and the Boston Consulting Group.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that 41 children out of a thousand Delaware residents were impacted by the epidemic.

The study says this includes those children who may have accidently ingested a drug.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general has filed a new lawsuit over the opioid crisis, even as the top lawyers in some states are pushing to settle claims over powerful prescription painkillers.

Mark Herring filed a lawsuit Thursday against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, saying it and a company that it bought misrepresented the benefits and risks of products that include fentanyl.

A company spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland report says the state has had a six-month decline in the total number of opioid-related fatalities for the first time in at least a decade.

The Maryland Department of Health and Opioid Operational Command Center released its second quarter report on Tuesday.

In the first half of the year, the report says there were 1,182 total unintentional intoxication deaths in the state. The report says that's an 11% decrease, compared to the same period in 2018.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh says he doesn't support a tentative multistate settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the family that owns the company.

Frosh said Wednesday in a telephone interview that Maryland has not joined states that have reached a tentative deal.

He says what's on the table doesn't begin "to compensate for the damage that was done by the Purdue company and the Sackler family."

About half the states reached a tentative deal with Purdue Pharma over its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

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Around 276 million painkillers found their way into Delaware from 2006 to 2012.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that would mean an average of 286 pills for every resident of the First State.

The data was drawn from ARCOS which tracks the distribution of pain killers from manufacturer to seller.

The paper reports that the number of pills coming into the state rose from 29 million in 2006 to nearly 48 million in 2011 – a 68 percent increase.

In 2012 the number was slightly down to 41 million.

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On a 4-to-2 vote the Wicomico County Council has voted to join a private lawsuit that goes after the pharmaceutical industry for the opioid crisis.

WBOC reports that the county will hire a private attorney in legal efforts against the opioid makers and distributors.

They hope to receive part of a settlement that would help local government fight opioid addiction.

Assistant Director of Administration Weston Young told the television station that every month officials get word of overdoses.

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - Researchers are looking for people willing to have their brains scanned for science at the same time they're struggling to kick opioid addiction.

Opioid abuse changes how the brain works in ways that can persist even after people quit. Anti-addiction medicines are proven to help by easing cravings and withdrawal, but it's not clear if they speed healing of those brain circuits.

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A new report says that 400 people died from drug overdoses last year.

The Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission found that 79 percent of overdose deaths took place in a residence.

Meanwhile, it said that in 90 percent of those deaths the anti-overdose drug Naloxone was not available.

Hospital officials told WBOC that they are implementing a number of recommendations by the commission including long-term addiction and mental health counseling.

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The Wicomico County Council has put off a vote on whether to join a national lawsuit against the manufacturers of opioid.

WBOC reports that the council has come under community pressure to reconsider a previous decision not to become part of the legal action.

The council intends to take a vote on the issue at its July 16th meeting.

County Sheriff Mike Lewis has been a strong supporter of taking the pharmaceutical companies to court and expressed some disappointment at the delay.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's health department says fatal drug overdoses are down for the first three months of the year, compared to the same time last year.

In preliminary data released Tuesday, the department says there were 577 total unintentional intoxication deaths. That's a 15 percent decrease, compared to the first three months of last year. Of the total, 89 percent were opioid-related deaths, primarily attributable to fentanyl.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has given final approval to a bill requiring drug manufacturers who sell opioid painkillers in Delaware to pay a new tax to help support substance abuse prevention and treatment.

The bill cleared the House on a 33-to-8 vote Thursday and now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

The legislation imposes a per-pill tax on prescription opioids ranging from a few cents to a dollar or more, based on their strength and whether they are brand-name or generic.

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) - A Virginia county is one of 15 localities around the country chosen to participate in a national program to expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in jails.

Chesterfield County will receive scholarships for five staff members to attend training programs. Experts will work with jail officials to create treatment guidelines, manage medication administration and educate jail staff about addiction.

Chesterfield also will develop a plan with local health officials to ensure people can access treatment after they're released.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is set to vote on legislation imposing a new tax on drug manufacturers who sell opioid painkillers in Delaware.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday is similar to a measure that was introduced last year but failed to get a floor vote.

The legislation imposes a per-pill tax on prescription opioids ranging from a few cents to a dollar or more, based on their strength and whether they are brand-name or generic.

The tax would be used to create a fund for drug treatment programs and research.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Nearly three dozen Virginia health professionals have lost their medical licenses - the state's harshest penalty - due to opioid abuse or irresponsible prescribing over the last two decades.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that a review of documents related to the 80 license revocations between 1998 and 2018 found that at least 34, or about 42%, involved opioids. About half of the 46 revocations in the past decade fell into that category. Some coincided with other issues like sexual misconduct or financial fraud.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Five cities and counties in southwest Virginia have filed lawsuits against drugmakers seeking compensation for the public-health fallout from the opioid-addiction crisis.

The cities of Bristol, Roanoke, and Salem, along with Roanoke and Alleghany counties, are the most recent Virginia localities to file suit. Nearly 2,000 local governments across the country have filed similar lawsuits.

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Governor John Carney stopped by the White House yesterday along with other state governors.

And they talked with the president about revitalizing low-income communities and dealing with the drug epidemic.

The Delaware Democrat was there while attending the National Governors Association Winter meeting.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are over 87-hundred Opportunities Zones in the country with 25 in Delaware.

Many of those are near Wilmington.

Meanwhile, the governors also discussed methods to combat the opioid crisis.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland lawmakers will consider once again a proposal to create safe drug consumption sites for opioid users, something no other U.S. state has.

The Daily Record of Baltimore reports the pilot program would authorize safe injection sites where people could use opioids near trained staffers who help if there's an overdose.

There were 1,648 opioid-related deaths in Maryland through the first nine months of 2018, an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2017.

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OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Melania Trump, addressing an anti-drug conference, says "recovery is possible."

The first lady traveled to Maryland on Thursday to address the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's annual youth leadership forum. Her signature "Be Best" campaign focuses on a number of issues, including the opioid crisis.

Mrs. Trump spoke about a former opioid and substance abuse addict who joined her for Tuesday's State of the Union address.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Opioid-related deaths in Virginia are set to fall slightly this year compared to the year before.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office predicts there will be 1,175 deaths due to opioid overdoses this year.

That's down from 1,230 in 2017, and but higher than any other year.

Deaths due to cocaine have increased since 2012 and are on pace to hit 445. Methamphetamine deaths are projected at 106 in 2018, up from only four in 2012.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has named former Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh to be director of Maryland's Opioid Operational Command Center.

Hogan announced the appointment on Wednesday.

Schuh will replace Clay Stamp, who is returning to Talbot County as assistant county manager and emergency services director.

Anne Arundel County launched the Safe Stations program under Schuh. The program designates county and city police stations as safe environments for people looking for assistance to fight heroin and opioid addiction.

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - Another Virginia county is suing opioid industry giants it says have contributed to the devastating opioid epidemic.

The Roanoke Times obtained a copy of Montgomery County's lawsuit against three dozen named defendants and 100 anonymous defendants that's being filed in circuit court.

The county is seeking $100 million, in addition to $350,000 from each of the defendants and a possible tripling of damages.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - A Delaware doctor has had his medical license and controlled substance privileges suspended for failing to safely prescribe opioids.

News outlets report state documents say Ifeanyi Udezulu also ignored red flags like anonymous calls about his patients selling his prescriptions and the results of drug screens.

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A lawsuit has been brought against Big Pharma brought by around 30 Attorneys General.

In the First State a suit brought by state Attorney General Matt Denn will be decided by a Delaware Judge.

Many packed themselves into a Wilmington Courtroom yesterday for the oral arguments against the drug makers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials say Delaware is on pace to surpass 400 drug overdose deaths in 2018, after it had 345 last year.

The Delaware State News and other outlets report the statistics are from the state Department of Health and Social Services. More than 1,000 individuals have fatally overdosed in Delaware since the start of 2015 and the numbers show the opioid crisis still lingers, although the state has made progress in fighting addiction.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has asked a group of experts to advise him on how to fight the state's opioid epidemic.

Northam signed an executive order Friday establishing an advisory commission on opioids and addiction.

The governor, who is a pediatric neurologist, said the commission will review the state's current approach at curbing opioid abuse and offer feedback on ways to improve.

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Wicomico County officials met last night for their fifth Take Back Our Community event.

And Sheriff Mike Lewis told WBOC that with opioid deaths up by 27 percent over the last year the problem is not going away.

Opioid overdoses this year for Wicomico County are up to 82 with 16 deaths.

But officials expressed disappointment that not many in the community showed up for the meeting.

Lewis told the television station that he believes the community has become desensitized to the problem.