Purdue Pharma has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to defrauding federal health agencies and violating anti-kickback laws, the Justice Department announced. The pleas, for which Purdue Pharma faces about $8.3 billion in penalties, acknowledge that the maker of OxyContin misled doctors, patients and the government by making false promotional claims about the opioid. (The New York Times)

CDC researchers have found that almost 300,000 more people in the U.S. died between late January and early October compared to the average number of deaths in recent years. The findings suggest that the official U.S. death count from COVID-19 – about 220,000 – isn’t accurate, and that the larger count probably includes COVID victims who either died without being tested or died at home. (STAT)

Data from three trials indicate that the arthritis drug tocilizumab showed inconsistent results in treating coronavirus infections, according to studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine. While one study found a decreased risk of death for ICU patients with COVID-19 who took the drug, a second revealed that the drug didn’t benefit the trial participants and a third saw no difference in mortality after four weeks. (Washington Post)

While COVID-19 rapid tests have become increasingly available, the results of many of those tests may be unreported. The new Associated Press report containing that disclosure also predicted that those report failures likely will increase as more tests are shipped this fall to nursing homes, colleges and schools. (WebMD)

Women who experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy ran a greater risk of having children with asthma and poorer lung function, according to a new study in the journal Thorax. There was no association discovered between these conditions and psychological stress experienced by parents in the years after pregnancy. (The New York Times)