Drug company to pay $572 million in Oklahoma for inciting opioid crisis

Drug company to pay $572 million in Oklahoma for inciting opioid crisis

There’s a lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson is responsible for helping to fuel the state’s opioid epidemic by aggressively marketing painkillers. Do you think they’re guilty?

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Total Votes : 70

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

An Oklahoma judge found Johnson & Johnson guilty of contributing to the state’s opioid crisis on Aug. 26, ordering the pharmaceutical company to pay $572 million in damages.

The ruling found that the company created a “public nuisance” in the state by deceptively and vigorously marketing painkillers. This is the first ruling in U.S. history to find a pharmaceutical company responsible for the opioid epidemic – a crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Oklahoma residents alone, according to a report by NPR.

“The defendants caused an opioid crisis that is evidenced by increased rates of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal abstinence syndrome in Oklahoma,” said presiding Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County in a statement.

Despite the guilty verdict, Oklahoma only received a fraction of the $17.5 billion being sought – an amount intended to fund a state-wide opioid recovery plan. The $572 million awarded covers just one year of the recovery plan.

The company announced plans to appeal the decision shortly after the ruling was made.

Johnson & Johnson lawyers say the opioids sold by the company are highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They argue these products account for merely one percent of the total opioid prescriptions in Oklahoma.

“Johnson & Johnson did not cause the opioid crisis,” said Johnson & Johnson attorney Sabrina Strong to reporters. “Although it includes some diversion of prescription medicine, it’s largely driven by illegally manufactured drugs that are coming into the country from Mexico and elsewhere.”

This case sets an important precedent for the numerous opioid lawsuits currently underway. The most notable of which is the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, a consolidated lawsuit containing nearly 2,000 cases against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The lawsuit is currently pending before a federal judge in Ohio.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Ohio litigation called the Oklahoma ruling a milestone in a recent statement. They said the ruling “confirms what communities have been saying for some time: the opioid epidemic significantly interfered with public health.”


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

There’s a lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson is responsible for helping to fuel the state’s opioid epidemic by aggressively marketing painkillers. Do you think they’re guilty?

Totals
37% Definitely
63% Not their fault
Males
31% Definitely
69% Not their fault
Females
56% Definitely
44% Not their fault

Definitely

Not their fault


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