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Thursday, Dec 12th

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Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks law banning common abortion procedure

Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks abortion banThe Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarilyblocked the state from enforcing a ban on a common abortion procedure.

In a 6-2 decision, the court ruled that Oklahoma could not enforce a ban on dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common method used in second trimester pregnancies.

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect while the Supreme Court decides whether the ban is lawful.

The Center for Reproductive Rights asked the court to block the ban from taking effect after an Oklahoma state trial court upheld it earlier this year.

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'It's a far broader problem.' More tainted blood pressure medicines may be added to carcinogens lawsuit

Blood pressure recall

Lawyers for consumers who claim harm from tainted versions of the blood pressure-lowering drug valsartan want to expand litigation to include at least two other drugs, losartan and irbesartan.

Dozens of consumers have already filed personal-injury lawsuits around the country claiming they were diagnosed with cancer or sustained other injuries after taking valsartan contaminated with probable carcinogens.

A federal court panel this year consolidated the valsartan lawsuits, which were filed against China-based drug ingredient manufacturer, Zhejiang Huahai, and more than three dozen other distributors, wholesalers, repackagers and pharmacies.

Lawyers representing consumers and employers that paid for the drugs argue losartan and irbesartan should be part of the combined federal lawsuit.

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Alabama Abortion Ban Is Blocked by a Federal Judge

Alabama judge bans abortion ban

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a near-total ban on abortions from taking effect next month in Alabama, ensuring the procedure remains legal and available in the state while the legislation winds its way through the courts.

The ruling against the Alabama law — the most far-reaching measure passed by state lawmakers this year — was an early step in a legal confrontation that abortion opponents orchestrated to try to reach the United States Supreme Court.

Several states, including Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, approved laws that would ban abortions after the heartbeat of what becomes the fetus can be detected, all with the aim of setting the stage for the renewed legal fight over abortion rights. In each of those states, a federal judge has blocked the measures from taking effect.

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Drug companies reach $260 million opioid settlement with Ohio counties, averting landmark trial

US Districy Court, Cleveland

Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp (ABC.N), Cardinal Health Inc (CAH.N) and McKesson Corp (MCK.N) will contribute $215 million toward the settlement, according to Hunter Shkolnik, an attorney for the counties.

Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd TEVA is paying $20 million in cash and will contribute $25 million worth of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment, according to Shkolnik.

The deal settles claims brought by Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties, which had accused the companies of fueling a nationwide opioid crisis. Some 400,000 U.S. overdose deaths between 1997 and 2017 were linked to opioids, according to government data.

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Zantac Maker Issues Nationwide Recall Over Potential Carcinogen

Zantac recalled for carcinogen contentThe manufacturer of Zantac has issued a recall in the U.S. and Canada amid growing concerns over potential carcinogens lurking in the popular heartburn drug.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi announced the voluntary action on Friday, calling it a “precautionary measure” following Food and Drug Administration tests that revealed traces of a possibly cancer-causing chemical, N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in medicine used to relieve common ailments like indigestion and ulcers.

In its statement, Sanoifi cited “inconsistencies in preliminary test results” of Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine.

The FDA raised concerns over its findings in a notice last month, though it did not call for the public to toss out the medication.

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'This is a big win': Pesticide linked to brain damage in children banned in California

Pinot Noir grapesA widely used agricultural pesticide that California environmental officials have said has been linked to brain damage in children will be banned after next year under an agreement reached with the manufacturer, state officials announced Wednesday.

Under the deal, all California sales of chlorpyrifos will end on Feb. 6, 2020, and farmers will have until the end of 2020 to exhaust their supplies.

The pesticide is used on numerous crops in the nation’s largest agriculture-producing state – including alfalfa, almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes and walnuts.

State regulators have said chlorpyrifos has been linked to health defects in children, including brain impairment, and to illnesses in others with compromised immune systems.

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24 state attorneys general launch legal challenge against Purdue Pharma

24 state AG's sue Purdie Pharma

US Attorneys General from 24 states and Washington, D.C. launched a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma this week in an attempt to block the OxyContin maker from avoiding thousands of lawsuits after filing for bankruptcy, Reuters reported.

The state officials objected to Purdue Pharma’s request that a U.S. bankruptcy judge block the more than 2,600 lawsuits seeking billions in damages, according to court filings, Reuters reported.

The lawsuits argue that the company, along with the Sackler family, were a catalyst in the opioid crisis across the country by not disclosing the addictive risks of opioids.

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