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U.S. Senator Launches Probe Into 5 Top Opioid Drugmakers

U.S. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill sought on Tuesday details from the nation’s top opioid drugmakers on their sales and marketing practices, as lawmakers step up efforts to tackle the country’s deadly opioid crisis.

The Missouri senator’s investigation comes amid an epidemic of opioid addiction, with 91 Americans dying every day as a result of overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This epidemic is the direct result of a calculated sales and marketing strategy major opioid manufacturers have allegedly pursued over the past 20 years to expand their market share,” McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote in a letter to the drugmakers. (

McCaskill asked Johnson & Johnson, Mylan NV, Purdue Pharma, Insys Therapeutics Inc and Depomed Inc for internal estimates of the risk of abuse, addiction and overdose of opioids.

The companies are the top five U.S. prescription opioid drugmakers by 2015 sales, according to McCaskill’s letter.

Depomed and Purdue Pharma said they were reviewing the letter and would respond accordingly.

Purdue also said its OxyContin painkiller made up just 2 percent of the U.S. opioid analgesic prescription market.

Johnson & Johnson said it had received the letter and would address the senator’s request.

“We believe that we have acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients regarding our opioid pain medications,” said Jessica Castles Smith, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen.

Mylan said it is committed to helping find solutions to the issue of opioid abuse and misuse.

“We welcome the senator’s interest in this important matter and we share her concerns regarding the misuse of prescription opioids,” a Mylan spokeswoman told Reuters in an email.


(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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Chris Christie Will Lead Donald Trump's Effort To Combat Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON ― New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will lead a commission to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday at a White House event on the issue.

Christie has long spoken in personal terms about the need to fight drug addiction. During his presidential campaign in 2015, he recounted the story of a law school friend who died after battling an addiction to prescription painkillers, a moment that went viral. 

Last month, Christie signed a bill that requires health insurers in New Jersey to cover treatment for substance abuse for up to six months.

“The person who’s in the throes of addiction … [and] realizes he or she needs help, they should not be blocked from the treatment center doors with their lives hanging in the balance,” he said.

Trump’s announcement came the same day that Christie’s former aide Bill Baroni was sentenced for his role in the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal. In November, Baroni and another Christie aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, were found guilty of all charges, which included conspiracy and fraud.

Though Christie has maintained that he had no direct involvement in the scheme that shut down lanes on the George Washington Bridge as payback for a Democratic mayor refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid, the scandal has dogged his political career.

After dropping out of the presidential race in February 2016, Christie quickly endorsed Trump, in a surprise move. He became an adviser and led Trump’s transition efforts, before being sidelined. Since Trump’s election, Christie has largely been out of the spotlight and was reportedly passed over for top roles in the administration.

At Wednesday’s event, Trump, who made combating the opioid epidemic a campaign pledge, said that his administration wants “to help people who have become so badly addicted.” But his failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week would have eliminated a mandate that requires Medicaid to cover addiction services.

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47 Tweets From Parents That Sum Up The Nightmare Of Lice Outbreaks

There is perhaps nothing more fear-inducing for parents than receiving the dreaded “LICE” note from their kid’s school.

These notorious outbreaks have the power to make even the most level-headed parents want to burn all of their belongings and shave every family member’s head. Many moms and dads vent about their head lice anxieties on Twitter, and some manage to find humor in the bleakness.

We’ve rounded up 47 tweets about the nightmare that is a lice outbreak. Try not to scratch your head while reading.

Lice is the herpes of kindergarten.

— Wonder Kitten (@Tw1tter_K1tten) December 31, 2014

One daughter has lice.

While my kids slept, I filled 15 garbage bags with stuffed animals and hid them in the attic

Your move, the Grinch.

— James Breakwell (@XplodingUnicorn) July 20, 2016

Lice are proof that God doesn't think having small children is it's own punishment.

— Lea Grover (@bcmgsupermommy) October 9, 2014

*standing in front of smoldering remains of my house*

Fireman: what happened, ma'am?

Me: there's a head lice outbreak at my kid's school.

— JuneBug (@jenyb4) January 13, 2016

Parenting tip: If your kid ever gets lice, make sure you send them to the local orphanage with the best YELP reviews.

— Abe Yospe (@Cheeseboy22) September 30, 2015

When considering the price of fighting a case of child head lice, don't forget to factor in the cost of the wine you need to get through it.

— Mike Reynolds (@EverydayGirlDad) November 1, 2016

My daughter is so generous. She shared her head lice with me so now we can both be alienated by our family.

— Ponies and Martinis (@PonyMartini) June 6, 2016

Lice? Lice lice.
Lice lice lice?

- what English sounds like after I get a note from the school saying there's lice in the class

— Sarah del Rio (@est1975blog) September 14, 2016

I know I've taught my daughter well bc I overheard her saying, "My Barbie can't share her crown with you because she doesn't want lice."

— Stella G. Maddox (@StellaGMaddox) April 23, 2015

Parenting tip: Never have kids. They might get lice.

— Abe Yospe (@Cheeseboy22) March 9, 2017

It only took my wife mentioning "lice" once for this whole Burger King play place to clear out.

— Robert Knop (@FatherWithTwins) January 25, 2015

The only one I hate more than this is "The Game of Lice" #RealMomTruths @Luvs

— Susan McLean (@NoDomesticDiva) May 4, 2015

Four out of five moms agree that lice will give you a nervous breakdown. And even the fifth mom is just pretending to hold it together.

— Kelcey Kintner (@mamabirddiaries) April 26, 2016

One of my son's T-ball teammates has lice & the kids have been sharing helmets. Good news is we're changing team name to The Bad News Hairs.

— Dude of the House (@DudeOfTheHouse) April 23, 2015

2am and I'm sneaking around my house with a headlamp on giving my sleeping children lice checks. You know just another normal Sat morning.

— carly kimmel (@carlykimmel) February 1, 2014

Relationship status: Bribing my husband with sexual favors in exchange for applying Anna's final lice treatment.

— Brenna Jennings (@SuburbanSnaps) November 1, 2014

The family that removes lice together, stays together. Mostly because no one else wants them.

— BadParentingMoments (@BPMbadassmama) September 26, 2015

Is it normal for a grown man to cry after getting the first head lice awareness letter from school?

— Dad or Alive (@dad_or_alive) January 13, 2016

Calling a class Christmas party a "holiday fair" is wrong. We're too easily offended to call it what it REALLY is: Lice Roulette with Punch.

— Brenna Jennings (@SuburbanSnaps) December 22, 2015

Sorry I started singing "lice lice baby" when you told me about your kid's nits but come on, that's fuckin funny.

— Valerie (@ValeeGrrl) February 18, 2017

Lice really prefer clean hair. --what I tell myself every night when I let my kids skip washing their hair.

— Resist! SWT (@SWilderTaylor) September 19, 2015

Just when you think 2016 couldn't get any worse, the preschool sends out a lice warning.

*dives head first into the dumpster fire*

— Lurkin' Mom (@LurkAtHomeMom) November 8, 2016

In over 11 years of parenthood we've never yet had lice.

*knocks on wood, throws salt over shoulder, offers firstborn to lice gods*

— Missy (@MamaFizzles) February 10, 2017

My type A, clean freak, hypochondriac wife just found lice in our daughter's hair so now I must start a new life.

— The Glad Stork (@TheGladStork) December 20, 2016

None of the pregnancy books warn you how much of the next 15 years you'll waste worrying that you have lice or a possible stomach bug.

— Ana Gasteyer (@AnaGasteyer) April 27, 2016

Taking your kid to get a haircut at a children's barbershop is like using a dirty needle, except lice is 100 times worse than hepatitis.

— Dad and Buried (@DadandBuried) September 3, 2016

I never thought I could love dandruff as much as I do each and every time it isn't lice.

— Brenna Jennings (@SuburbanSnaps) April 22, 2013

Gotta love the lice letter from school... in other news now I can't stop itching my head.

— Jen Good (@buriedwithkids) November 11, 2016

In an ideal world chlorine would kill lice, amirite

— Christina Anderson (@Xtina_Anderson) September 4, 2016

Me: I need a break from the election. It would be nice to focus on something else.
Life: Your preschool has lice!
Me: Dammit.

— Lea Grover (@bcmgsupermommy) October 14, 2016

"Biggest asshole" is quite an insult. Now consider lice, the smallest assholes. Those smallest assholes are the biggest assholes I know.

— Nicole Leigh Shaw (@NicoleLeighShaw) July 15, 2015


— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) November 11, 2014

Oh just scrolling through a story on super-strains of lice with one hand and shaving all of our family's hair off with the other.

— Mike Reynolds (@EverydayGirlDad) August 18, 2015

There really needs to be a super-sympathetic "I'm sorry your kid has lice." emoji. Someone? Please?

— Julie Maida (@NextLifeNOKids) February 26, 2015

Introvert Pro Tip:
You'd be amazed at how many commitments you can get out of for the week when you get lice from your kids.

— Kate Hall (@KateWhineHall) July 20, 2016

Boys, I will always be there for you...that is unless you have lice. Then it's feed yourself and find your own damn way to school.

— Kalvin (@KalvinMacleod) May 22, 2013

Nightmares as a child: monsters

Nightmares as a parent: lice

— Sara Says Stop (@PetrickSara) October 4, 2015

... And it's official: Lice outbreak at school. Homeschoolers, you're looking smarter every damn year.

— Scary Mommy (@ScaryMommy) September 11, 2013

One thing they don't tell you before you become a parent is just how much you will learn about lice. I have a Ph. Delouse.

— Shawn (@BackpackingDad) June 22, 2013

So I put the lice repel stuff in the kids' hair. The only problem is *I* don't want to be around them either, now.

— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) December 13, 2011

School sent a note home with my 5yo that someone had lice in his class. In unrelated news I broke out in hives & burned all our belongings.

— Jennifer Lizza (@outsmartedmommy) November 5, 2013

I don't know why my place isn't moving on air bnb when the description repeatedly emphasizes that it's lice-free.

— Ana Gasteyer (@AnaGasteyer) January 12, 2015

Mice outbreak at my school! Wait, hold on, typo. Lice outbreak at my school! Lice. Actually wishing now it was mice.

— Abe Yospe (@Cheeseboy22) January 16, 2013

My kid was attacked by lice. The resulting casualties include hundreds of dead bugs, one confiscated Santa hat & four murdered friendships.

— Dad and Buried (@DadandBuried) December 19, 2012

Nothing like a "Confirmed Case of Head Lice At School" email to make me wish I'd gotten a dog instead.

— Karri-Leigh (@karri_leigh) January 18, 2016

It's hat day at school. I'll expect the lice out break letters in about 3 days.

— Jen Good (@buriedwithkids) September 29, 2014

Every time my head itches I think, "well this is it, this is how I die" bc if the lice have finally come for me I'm lighting myself on fire.

— MyQuestionableLife (@2questionable) April 16, 2016

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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