Purdue Pharma reaches tentative deal O xyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative agreement to settle some 2,000 opioid lawsuits filed by local governments. The tentative deal will cost the company between $10 billion and $12 billion, according to multiple reports. Whatever deal has been reached does not cover all of the company’s potential litigation as it only covers about half the states that are suing the company and does not include those files in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.
NBA adds full-time mental health staff to roster W ith the regular season opening on Oct. 22, the National Basketball Association adopted new rules last month and hosted a mandatory health and wellness meeting for team executives and mental health and wellness providers in Chicago, setting formal requirements for all 30 teams in the league. The league adopted new rules that require teams to add at least one full-time licensedmental healthprofessional—a psychologist or behavioral therapist — to their full-time staff. Teams will also be required, starting this season, to retain a licensed psychiatrist to assist when needed. All teams will also need to have a “written action plan” in the event of mental health emergencies, and they must inform players and staff members how the team will ensure privacy and confidentiality of mental health matters. That program connects players with licensed mental health professionals in every city where there’s an NBA team. Those professionals are separate from the NBA and the players association. Other resources the player association provides include a players-only website with a focus on mental health that features up to 90 links about issues including depression and all kinds of phobias. Other leagues have also begun to adopt measures to help their players deal withmental health issues. InMay of this year, the NFL and its players’ union established a mental health and wellness committee as well as a joint pain management committee. •
U.S. readies ban on flavored e-cigarettes T he Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people. The Food and Drug Administration is currently finalizing its guidance to remove all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, from the market within 30 days. Companies might be able to reintroduce their flavors at a later date, so long as they submit a formal application and receive approval from the FDA. Vaping companies have been criticized for marketing to young adults with e-cigarettes offering flavors such as mango and creme. The surge in underage vaping, which U.S. health officials have labeled as an “epidemic,” is one of the reasons why they plan to ban them— at least until the FDA can thoroughly review their safety.
The company is expected to soon file for bankruptcy.
Alphabet and iRhythm are teaming up on tech W earable heart monitor company iRhythm is teaming up with Alphabet’s health company Verily on unspecified new technology that will monitor people at risk for atrial fibrillation, a common form of irregular heart rhythm that is associated with strokes and other serious health problems. Verily and iRhythm aren’t the only technology companies working on helping people at risk of atrial fibrillation, which impacts more than 5 million Americans today. Apple got a first-of-its-kind clearance from federal regulators for its electrocardiogram system. It provides both active and passive monitoring of potential cardiac irregularities. Unlike the Apple Watch, which is intended for a broad population of users, iRhythm and Verily intend to target their technology to people who might not know they have atrial fibrillation but are at risk of the condition because of factors like age and their medical history.
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
83 OCTOBER 2019 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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