Opioids

Endo and Allergan discussing opioid settlement to avoid trial

OxyContin 80 mg pills spilling out of a prescription bottle
Photo: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Two drug companies — Endo and Allergan — are in discussions about a settlement that would allow them to avoid participating in a massive opioids trial set to occur this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports. Endo is working on a $10 million deal, while Allergan is negotiating a $5 million deal that may not completely remove it from the trial.

Why it matters: These 2 companies are relatively minor players in the trial, especially compared to drugmakers like Purdue Pharma and Johnson and Johnson. But this would still be a significant development, especially if other drug companies end up following Endo and Allergan's lead to avoid going to trial.

Go deeper: A proposal to bring all local governments into opioids settlement

The rural America death spiral

Illustration of a tractor plowing a field in the shape of a heart monitor that is petering out
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many of the nation's current pathologies are taking a heavy toll on the majority-white population living in rural America, which was severely impacted by the opioid crisis and has dealt with falling populations, job losses and rising suicide rates.

Why it matters: The malaise and discontent that President Trump has tapped into goes beyond the racism we've seen over the past few weeks and includes anger at a changing world and frustration at dwindling opportunities close to home. These trends are further entrenching the rural-urban schism that came to light in the 2016 election.