Judge: Drugmakers, others can face trial over opioids crisis

A federal judge overseeing litigation related to the nation’s opioids epidemic has ruled that claims against Purdue Pharma and other drug companies can move to trial as the OxyContin maker tries to reach a settlement.

The ruling was one of several issued Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, who is preparing for trial scheduled for Oct. 21 over claims from the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit.

It would be the first federal trial seeking to hold drug companies accountable for an overdose and addiction crisis that has killed more than 400,000 Americans since 2000.

The Cleveland-based judge also ruled that claims can move forward against generic drugmakers and smaller distributors, who had argued that they should be let off the hook.

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