Walgreens Boots Alliance reached a $683 million settlement with Florida to resolve claims that the pharmacy chain exacerbated an opioid epidemic in the state.

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.

The U.S. Justice Department signaled support for legislation to extend by seven months a ban on illegal copycat versions of fentanyl, the powerful synthetic painkiller that has helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Trevena’s Olinvyk as a new intravenous opioid for short-term management of acute pain in a hospital setting.

Eli Lilly priced the company’s acute migraine treatment Reyvow at $640 for a pack of eight pills.

SK Biopharmaceuticals and U.S. subsidiary SK Life Science announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xcopri (cenobamate tablets) for partial-onset seizures in adults.

A U.S. government watchdog harshly criticized the Drug Enforcement Agency’s response to the opioid crisis, saying amid a surge in opioid-related deaths the agency failed to use the DEA’s most powerful deterrent and authorized an increase in pain pill output.

Lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee urged the Trump administration to conduct a scientific review of a Justice Department-backed bill to classify all illicit chemical knockoffs of the potent painkiller fentanyl in the same legal category as heroin.

U.S.-listed shares of GW Pharmaceuticals rose 8 percent as the company’s marijuana-based treatment Epidiolex cleared the last hurdle after the Drug Enforcement Administration labeled the drug as having a low abuse potential.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is readdressing cannabis following the regulatory approval of the first cannabinoid-based drug for the treatment of some epilepsy patients.