Donation to help Illinois with synthetic marijuana outbreak

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois public health officials say the state has received a major donation that will help those who have suffered severe bleeding as part of a deadly outbreak involving synthetic marijuana.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday said it will receive nearly 800,000 vitamin K tablets, which if taken over several months can help restore blood clotting. The donation comes from the Bausch Foundation, the independent charitable organization of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

The donation comes after three people have died and more than 150 were sickened by synthetic marijuana in Illinois since March. Doctors say those suffering from bleeding need to take as many as 30 tablets a day for up to six months. IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah says the donation will allow patients “to receive lifesaving treatment free of charge.”