A Sackler has spoken out and defended his family’s role in the opioid crisis. David Sackler, a member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma that is embroiled in opioid-related lawsuits, broke the family’s long silence about opioids. He said that Purdue and his grandparents, who founded the company, are being blamed for something they didn’t do. (Vanity Fair)

Amazon wants to sell drugs directly through PillPack. Amazon is hoping to reach contracts with health insurers and employers directly to cut out the middlemen, or pharmacy benefit managers. The move would be a massive shift in how drugs are distributed. (STAT)

The Food and Drug Administration outlined guidelines for approving opioids after criticism that it has been too lax. The new draft guidance said that the agency would start comparing opioids to other painkillers, both opioids and other types, already on the market and begin to consider the public health consequences of opioids in the approval process. (STAT)

Google Assistant is better than Alexa or Siri at understanding drugs, according to a study. Researchers tested how well the digital assistants comprehended the 50 most commonly prescribed medicines and whether they could provide accurate information to users. Google was way ahead of competitors, understanding 92% of brand-name medicines and 84% of generics. (CNBC)

PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that employer health costs will rise 6% next year, partially due to rising drug prices. The hike would likely be due to more higher-priced drugs hitting the market than in previous years. Spending on these specialty drugs makes up about 40% of overall employer drug spending. (CNBC)