In Oklahoma, the court found Johnson & Johnson guilty of stimulating the opioid crisis and ordered it to pay $ 572 million. The company has already stated that it does not agree with the decision and will appeal against it in the Supreme Court.
The position of the state is as follows. Since the early 2000s, in Oklahoma, about 6 thousand people have died from opioids. The state officials blame the drug companies for aggressive advertising campaigns that portray opioids as drugs that can cope with chronic diseases. However, a drug advertisement does not say a word that they are addictive. The prosecution believes that Johnson & Johnson, as well as its subsidiaries, were guided primarily by greed, pushing the health of consumers into the background.
This year, state authorities have conducted a pretrial settlement conference of two more such cases. Pharmaceutical companies have decided to pay money right away and not encourage the conflict. These were Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The first company paid $ 270 million, the second – $ 85 million.
Purdue Pharma has been manufacturing oxycontin, promoting it on the market since the nineties. J&J realized that this type of drug is very popular. The Janssen division was created by Paul Janssen, who had a hand in the invention of fentanyl. When oxycontin appeared on the market, the company began promoting fentanyl, claiming that it was virtually non-addictive.
During the proceedings, the prosecutor presented thousands of reports by J&J managers, which talked about the company’s collaboration with doctors that increased demand for opioids. The company’s goal was to increase the market presence and replace weak opioids with stronger drugs.
The material was prepared with the participation of Katya Wilson,
a leading analyst of the brokerage company UFT Group