Feb 25, 2020 - Health

Mallinckrodt proposes $1.6 billion opioid settlement via bankruptcy

Mallinckrodt offices in New Jersey. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mallinckrodt is floating a $1.6 billion proposal to settle allegations that it fueled the opioid crisis by pushing its painkillers. The drug company would make payments in the eight years after its generics business, which sells oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, emerges from bankruptcy.

Why it matters: The attorneys general from 47 states and territories, as well as the plaintiffs in the global opioid lawsuit, are supporting the deal, Mallinckrodt said. Mallinckrodt's brand-name drug business will not be affected, but its generics bankruptcy marks the third opioids bankruptcy, after Purdue Pharma and Insys Therapeutics.

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Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt in turmoil as opioid settlements mount

Mallinckrodt offices in Bedminster, New Jersey. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Legal and financial troubles continue to mount for two prominent opioid manufacturers.

The big picture: The prospect of multibillion-dollar settlements — which are still a long way from being hashed out — is bringing painkiller companies that were once immensely wealthy to their knees.

Go deeperArrowFeb 25, 2020 - Health

PG&E reaches bankruptcy deal with California

The Pacific Gas & Electric logo on a truck in Jan. 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) on Friday struck a deal, pledging to help wildfire victims and improve safety in order to emerge from bankruptcy, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last January, facing an estimated $30 billion in claims over its potential role in deadly wildfires across the state, and in December agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims.

Drugmakers warn of medication shortages from coronavirus

Tourists with face masks walk through Union Square in New York City on Feb. 28. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Some of the largest drugmakers — including AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer — have said that the coronavirus outbreak could affect their supplies or sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: Drug shortages can end up being incredibly serious for patients, but they're not good for business either.

Go deeperArrowMar 2, 2020 - Health