Major opioid maker to pay for overdose-antidote development

FILE - This May 8, 2007 file photo shows the Purdue Pharma offices in Stamford, Conn. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, the company, whose prescription opioid marketing practices are being blamed for sparking a nationwide overdose and addiction crisis says it’s helping to fund an effort to make a lower-cost overdose antidote. (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

The Latest on Purdue Pharma's funding to help develop a lower-price overdose antidote (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

A lawyer for local governments suing the opioid industry is questioning the motives of a major prescription painkiller producer making a grant to develop a lower-price overdose antidote.

Paul Hanly says Purdue Pharma's $3.4 million is "a strategic move" for the benefit of a judge who is overseeing more than 1,000 lawsuits against the drug industry. At the same time, he said, it is beneficial to have a lower-cost version of naloxone (nuh-LAHX'-ohn) nasal spray available.

The company that makes OxyContin announced the grant Wednesday to Harm Reduction Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit. Purdue says it's advancing public safety.

The antidote is widely used but can be expensive for governments fighting the effects of a nationwide opioid overdose crisis.

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12:15 p.m.

A company whose prescription opioid marketing practices are being blamed for sparking a nationwide overdose and addiction crisis says it's helping fund an effort to make a lower-cost overdose antidote.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma announced on Wednesday that it's making a $3.4 million grant to Harm Reduction Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, to help develop a low-cost naloxone (nuh-LAHX'-ohn) nasal spray.

First responders, drug users and others have taken to carrying naloxone to reverse overdoses. But the price of the drug has been a problem for state and local governments.

Harm Reduction Therapeutics says it is trying to get its version to the market within two years.

The announcement from Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue days after the number of lawsuits against the drug industry under one federal judge's watch topped 1,000.

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