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.