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Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance and other defendants on April 26 said they were not to blame for the opioid crisis in San Francisco, and that they acted responsibly when providing legal medications to patients in pain.

A federal judge on Feb. 1 extended a legal shield protecting the Sackler family owners of Purdue Pharma from lawsuits to Feb. 17, as they try to reach a deal with several states to settle sprawling litigation stemming from the U.S. opioid crisis.

The pandemic has undoubtedly altered the way of life for all Americans, but it has also shed light into the bleak statistics that are showing the opioid crisis is even worse than ever before. For the first time in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nearly 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses over a 12-month period ending in March 2021, which was a little more than a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

Over 100,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses during the 12-month period ending April 2021, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on November 17.

A record number of Americans died of drug overdoses during 2020 as pandemic lockdowns made getting treatment difficult and dealers laced more drugs with a powerful synthetic opioid, according to data released on July 14 and health officials.

Four drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., will go to trial on April 19 over claims they helped fuel an opioid crisis that has resulted in nearly 500,000 overdose deaths in the United States.

Purdue Pharma LP will ask a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to pause litigation against the company and ownership over the objections of U.S. states that allege the OxyContin maker is trying to protect the controlling Sackler family.

U.S. overdose deaths dropped during 2018 for the first time in nearly two decades, the CDC said, in a sign that a nationwide epidemic of drug-related deaths is abating.

Opioid use has reached crisis proportions not only in the United States but also in Canada and some European countries, as prescription opioid painkillers have become much more common, the OECD club of wealthy nations said.

Researchers are reporting a link between doctor-targeted marketing of opioid products and the increase in U.S. deaths from overdoses.