American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Medicine on Oct. 4 for the discovery of receptors in the skin that sense temperature and touch and could pave the way for new pain-killers.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 cleared the way for New York to collect a $200 million surcharge imposed on opioid manufacturers and distributors to defray the state’s costs arising from the deadly epidemic involving the powerful painkilling drugs.

Although the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the OxyContin maker’s reorganization plan that freed the Sacklers from greater financial accountability and shielded them from additional lawsuits, the Department of Justice moved to block the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy deal.

A U.S. judge said on Sept. 1 he would approve OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, clearing a path to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits and shielding the company’s wealthy Sackler family owners from future opioid litigation.

Endo International Plc agreed to pay $35 million to settle a lawsuit by Tennessee local governments and on behalf of a child allegedly born addicted to painkillers accusing the drugmaker of fueling the opioid epidemic, the company announced July 22.

Fifteen more states reached an agreement with Purdue Pharma LP and members of its wealthy Sackler family owners that moved the OxyContin maker a step closer to resolving widespread opioid litigation and exiting bankruptcy protection.

Avenue Therapeutics Inc. said on June 14 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had once again declined to approve the company’s non-opioid painkiller tramadol, sending the drugmaker’s shares lower in trading.

Massachusetts sued a unit of French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA on May 6, accusing it of fueling the U.S. opioid crisis by using unfair and deceptive marketing to help drugmaker Purdue Pharma sell more OxyContin.

The three largest U.S. drug distributors, facing their first trial over claims that they fueled the opioid crisis, said responsibility for ballooning painkiller sales lies with doctors, drugmakers and regulators.

Purdue Pharma LP filed a bankruptcy plan on March 15 that would resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits by restructuring the OxyContin maker into an entity that would steer profits to plaintiffs and require the company’s Sackler family owners to contribute nearly $4.3 billion to the settlement.