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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Doctors and other healthcare practitioners who write prescriptions bear ultimate responsibility for improper distribution of opioids to patients, not pharmacists who are obliged to fill those prescriptions, a series of pharmacy chains argued in federal court.

CLEVELAND — The nation's three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker reached an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement over the toll of the opioids in two Ohio counties, averting what would have been the first federal trial over the crisis.

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NORMAN, OKLA. — A New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company caused an Oklahoma opioid crisis that led to thousands of deaths, and must pay $572.1 million to fix it, a Cleveland County, Oklahoma, district judge ruled Monday.