Kentucky has the third-highest drug overdose death rate in the United States. KET is working to elevate awareness of the complex issues that surround this public health crisis through the Inside Opioid Addiction initiative. Funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, this initiative explores the many dimensions of this crisis and pathways toward solutions. Learn more about KET’s opioid initiative
Monday, Oct. 21 was supposed to be the start of a landmark trial against drug companies and distributors. But before arguments could start, several companies announced a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties. With lawsuits still pending from thousands of communities, can a bigger national settlement be reached? William Brangham talks with Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post for more.
Renee Shaw speaks with state medical and public health officials about what can be done to address three of Kentucky’s biggest health risks: smoking, obesity and diabetes, and substance abuse. The forum was produced in conjunction with the 2019 Kentucky Medical Association Annual Meeting. Read highlights from the forum and watch the video here.
Renee speaks with Andrea James, community response strategist in Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton’s Office about a future workgroup that will guide approaches to curbing substance abuse in central Kentucky. And, in a separate segment, Sharon Walsh, Ph.D., director of the University of Kentucky’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research talks about UK’s $87 million grant that seeks to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in 16 Kentucky counties.
Renee speaks with U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District. They discuss new developments in combating the opioid epidemic, gun legislation, coal company bankruptcies and miners’ black lung and pension benefits, as well as Rogers’ efforts to reduce robocalls.
Laura Santhanam ofPBS NewsHour reports on an Aug. 26 ruling from a judge in Oklahoma that marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson contributed to the opioid crisis. This decision — which requires the the company and and its subsidiary to pay the state more than $572 million — could signal what’s ahead for other drug companies facing lawsuits across the country.
In his latest Making $ense blog, PBS NewsHour’s Philip Moeller answers readers’ questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs, including an inquiry from a person who had her rehabilitation treatment for a Xanax addiction denied by Medicare.
The Associated Press reports on newly released federal data that revealed how drugmakers and distributors increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the U.S. as the nation’s addiction crisis accelerated from 2006 to 2012. The data, released this week by a federal court in Ohio as part of a far-reaching opioids case, shows that companies distributed an increase of over 50% in opioid pills to commercial pharmacies during the timeframe. During the same span, prescription opioids contributed to more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The nation’s opioid crisis was declared a public health emergency in 2017 and received new funding this past October. But rampant addiction led to some 40,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, and 2019 could see the culmination of a flood of ensuing lawsuits seeking accountability. William Brangham speaks to Barry Meier, who explores the origins of the epidemic in a new book, “Pain Killer.”