Oklahoma’s Ongoing Opioid Trial

Legal Developments

On Wednesday, the historic Oklahoma opioid trial against Johnson&Johnson entered into its final stretch. Oklahoma’s District Attorney (DA) called his last witness in the case to prove Johnson&Johnson’s hand in the state’s current opioid crisis – which includes a wave of opioid deaths among generation Z and millennials. In response, the J&J legal council called for a directed verdict stating that the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof to sustain allegations that J&J caused Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic. The trial is expected to continue for at least four months before a settlement is reached.

 

Roundup, U.S. and Abroad

Legal Developments

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of San Francisco put out a statement that he is constitutionally bound to reduce the $75 million punitive settlement against RoundUp manufacturer Bayer on the grounds that punitive damages may not be more than nine times more than compensatory damages, according to Reuters. This comes at the same time as Austria’s ban on the primary components of Bayer’s flagship herbicide overseas. This glyphosate ban abroad was reportedly influenced by the plethora of American lawsuits linking the chemical and cancer.

 

New Numbers In Breast Implant Research

Research + Findings

A study published on June 26 suggests breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) related to textured breast implants may be far more common than previously assumed. Assessing 3,546 women from 1993 to 2017, the research found that 1 in 443 women developed BIA-ALCL – a sharp contrast to previous rates that vary between 1 in 6920 to 1 in 3800 as defined by retrospective studies. The new findings come just 2 months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided not to ban textured breast implants.

 

FDA Makes Moves for Medical Device Transparency

FDA Regulation

This Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ended their alternative summary reporting system for medical devices. Changes to FDA infrastructure also include updates to the interface of the public MAUDE database and the establishment of the Voluntary Malfunction Summary Reporting (VMSR) system as the primary channel for manufacturers to report product malfunctions or accidents, as reported by Emergo. The FDA has stated that they intend to make their organization more publicly accessible and transparent through these initiatives.

 

Landmark Study for HIV Treatment

Research + Findings

A team of scientists completely eliminated HIV from one in three mice using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene modification tool, according to a recent study. Published Tuesday to Nature, the findings are only the beginning for permanent HIV treatment research. According to The Oregonian, prevalence of HIV infection in Oregon has increased dramatically as a side effect of the opioid epidemic, with evidence showing that increased drug use has led to an increase in HIV cases. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, recent reports claim HIV numbers are the lowest in a decade as there were under 1,000 new cases of HIV documented this past year.