Cramm for 8/27/19


Oklahoma’s celebrating a big win against Johnson & Johnson. 



For years, the US has been facing an opioid crisis. Opioids: a kind of drug that provides pain relief and can be prescribed after medical procedures. They also include illegal drugs like heroin. Problem, since opioids are very very very addictive. And in 2016 alone, health care providers wrote more than 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication - contributing to around 130 opioid-related deaths a day.



Not too long ago, Oklahoma sued Johnson & Johnson (as in the drug manufacturer) for its role in the opioid crisis. For context, the biz supplies 60% of the opiate ingredients that drug bizes use for a long list of opioids - including oxycodone. Yesterday, a judge decided on the case. 



Spoiler: Johnson & Johnson’s being forced to pay up. The judge said the biz led “false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns” to get doctors to prescribe opioids - causing “exponentially increasing rates of addiction” and “overdose deaths.” The biz will have to cough up $572 million - much less than the $17 billion Oklahoma was looking for to help cover things like addiction treatment and drug courts. But the case still sets a big big precedent for the, you know, 2,000 other lawsuits against drug manufacturers over the opioid crisis.  



Drug manufacturers are finally starting to be held accountable for the opioid crisis. TBD on how the rest of these kinds of lawsuits turn out. 


POLITICS: Yesterday, Prez Trump said ‘why can’t we all just get along’ and announced that he’s open to meeting with Iran’s prez - Hassan Rouhani - within weeks. Plus that he’s up for a “short-term line of credit or loan” to help out Iran’s economy. This comes after Iran’s supreme leader repeatedly said he’s not interested in chatting with the Trump team. Plot twist. Speaking of which, yesterday, the G7 summit came to a close. Headlines were made. As in world leaders agreed to hand Brazil $20 million to help fight fires in the Amazon. Money that Brazil...rejected. Yes, really. Around the same time, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared he’d be sending $15 million to help fight Amazon fires. No word yet on this from Brazil. 


USA: All eyes are on Newark. Reminder: for months, there’s been talk that the water there is contaminated with lead. Talk that city officials have dismissed...until recently. See: yesterday, the city announced a plan to borrow $120 million to cut the time it takes to replace the pipes responsible for the contaminated water from 10 years down to 2 ½. Officials are set to vote on the plan today. Speaking of which, recently, Rob Porter (as in the former White House aide) was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its impeachment inquiry into Trump. And meanwhile, prosecuters are reportedly getting close to a decision on whether to indict Andrew McCabe (the former FBI deputy director) on charges of lying to federal agents. 


WORLD: Recently, Indonesia announced that it’d be moving its capital city from Jakarta to...Borneo Island. For years, Indonesia’s been talking about moving its capital city from Jakarta - one of the world’s most overpopulated cities. The why: the city’s quickly sinking into the Java Sea due to things like rising waters and over-extraction of groundwater. Now, it looks like Indonesia’s deciding to unzip its wallet and spend $34 billion across 10 years to build a new capital city. In other news, a new study shows US films are lacking when it comes to Latino representation. Think: across a 12 year period, only 4.5% of speaking characters were Latino - with a quarter of those characters being gangsters, criminals, and drug dealers. Not good. 


John Travolta:” who mistook Jade Jolie (a Taylor Swift impersonator/drag queen) for Taylor Swift at the VMAs by accidentally handing her Swift’s award. Classic. 


“Climatological nuclear warfare…is not a good idea” - NOAA’s response to the dozens of emails they get suggesting that we…bomb hurricanes. Points for creativity. 

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