Amid settlement talks, opioids keep taking a grim toll

While the nation’s attorneys general debate a legal settlement with Purdue Pharma, the opioid epidemic associated with the company’s blockbuster painkiller OxyContin rages on.

The drugs still kill tens of thousands of people each year with no end in sight.

Pennsylvania’s York County investigated eight suspected overdose deaths in a single week of August — four in 24 hours. Coroner Pam Gay says it’s going to take a while to see a decline.

Purdue has entered a proposed settlement with about half the states and 2,000 local governments. But attorneys general in Pennsylvania and many other states have come out against the deal, calling it insufficient. They vow to continue litigation against the company and the family that owns it.

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Associated Press writers Emery P. Dalesio in Raleigh, North Carolina; Don Babwin in Elk Grove Village, Illinois; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; and Mike Stobbe in New York City contributed to this report.

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