Jul 12, 2018

By the numbers: One state's billion-plus doses of opioids

Oxycodone pills. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Three drug distributors shipped 1.6 billion opioid doses to Missouri between 2012 and 2017, according to a new report from Sen. Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.

By the numbers: That's 260 pills per Missourian, over a five-year period.

  • The report also found that the three companies — McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health — had vastly different processes for reporting suspicious orders.
  • At the same time, the Drug Enforcement Agency was relatively lax. It didn't use its most powerful enforcement power even once in that period.

The impact: McCaskill's report doesn't accuse any of the companies of illegal action, but several lawsuits do. If it's found that drugmakers and distributors broke the law, they could be on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.