Health Highlights: Sept. 10, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Oxycontin’s Maker Now Selling Drug to Curb Opioid Addiction

Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin who some have blamed for the epidemic of opioid painkiller addictions, has patented a medicine aimed at curbing those disorders.

The new anti-addiction drug is a fast-acting form of buprenorphine, which helps control drug cravings, CBS News reported. Previously prescribed in either tablet or fast-dissolving strips, the Purdue version comes in a “wafer” that dissolves in only a few seconds.

Richard Sackler, a member of Purdue’s board, is listed as one of the inventors on the patent, CBS said. The Sackler family controls Purdue.

The announcement comes as Purdue finds itself in the middle of numerous lawsuits from states accusing the company of helping to create the opioid addiction crisis.

In one lawsuit, the Massachusetts attorney general accused Purdue of a “deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids.” Purdue and the Sackler family deny the allegations.

Last week, Purdue donated $3.4 million to the developer of an over-the-counter version of naloxone, a drug often used to prevent a fatal opioid overdose. Purdue said it will not receive royalties from the new form of naloxone, which is being developed by Harm Reduction Therapeutics, CBS said.


Star-Studded ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ Telethon Raises $123 Million

The latest annual celebrity-filled ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ telethon has raised a record $123 million from donors in the United States and Canada, organizers said Sunday.

Among the stars featured in the event were Matt Damon, Katie Couric, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Tracee Ellis Ross, Keith Urban, Matthew McConaughey, Keanu Reeves, Jon Hamm and Winona Ryder, CBS News reported. Musical acts included Stevie Wonder, Little Big Town and cancer survivor Charlie Wilson.

Wonder performed a medley of songs in honor of soul legend Aretha Franklin, who died in August of pancreatic cancer.

Actor Bradley Cooper, whose father died of lung cancer, is a co-producer of the annual benefit, which was broadcast commercial-free on numerous networks and cable channels. He said that Stand Up to Cancer is giving cancer patients hope that they can become long-term survivors.

On Thursday before this year’s telecast, organizers said that Stand Up to Cancer had so far raised $480 million to fund breakthrough cancer research.

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