Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Many Young Adults Misusing Medical Marijuana, Study SuggestsAnother Possible Effect of Climate Change: More Preemie Babies1 in 18 U.S. Teens Carries a Gun to School: StudyU.S. Poison Centers Field More Calls About Psychoactive Substances: StudyDoctors' Group Calls for Ban on Most Vaping ProductsAs Disease Outbreaks Tied to 'Anti-Vaxxers' Rise, States Take ActionAHA News: Millions Who Never Smoked Cigarettes Are Using Other Tobacco ProductsMost Docs Don't Know Hair Care Is a Barrier to Exercise for Black WomenHealth Tip: Do's and Don'ts for Calling 911Climate Change Will Hurt Kids Most, Report WarnsYou Won't Get Sued If You Do CPR, Review SuggestsRacial Bias Seen in Heart TransplantsTrump Administration Wants to Raise Age to Buy E-Cigs to 21Juul Stops Sales of Mint-Flavored E-CigarettesDo You Take Biotin Supplements? They Could Affect Your Medical TestsClimate Change a 'Threat to Human Well-Being,' Scientists SayAnti-Vaxxers Find Ways Around States' 'Personal Exemption' BansMedia Reports on Celeb Suicides Could Trigger CopycatsStill Way Too Much Smoking in Movies Aimed at KidsConsumers' Orders Changed Slightly After Calorie Counts Added to MenusReport Finds Americans' Health Is FlaggingAfter Mass Shootings, Docs Even Less Likely to Mention Gun SafetyBan on Sale of Sugary Drinks Trimmed Employees' WaistlinesAre You Accessing All Your Medical Records Online?Independent Pharmacies Are Closing Down Across the U.S.Language Barriers May Mean Repeat Visits to the HospitalInterest in CBD Products Keeps Soaring, but Health Experts WaryJuul Halts Sale of Fruit, Dessert Flavors of E-CigarettesShrinking Youth Group Aids Global Decline in HomicidesWhen Meds Are Free, Patients Take Them More OftenSpurred by Mass Shootings, More Americans View Mentally Ill as ViolentPacemakers, Insulin Pumps Could Be Hacking Targets: FDAAHA News: Make Neighborhoods Green for Heart Health? The Idea Is Taking RootPoll Finds Many Young Americans Think Vaping is SafeWhat Do Hospital Cyber Attackers Want to Know About You?U.S. Minorities' Recent Health Gains May Be SlowingPaid Family Leave Helps Keep Babies' Vaccines on Track: StudyDon't Let Fear of Cancer Keep You From Doctor VisitsMaker Halts Distribution of Generic Zantac Due to Possible CarcinogenCould Profit Be a Factor in Kidney Transplant Decisions?Get Up-to-the-Minute Safety Alerts Sent Straight to Your InboxPurdue Pharma to Settle Opioid Crisis Lawsuits, May Pay Up to $12 BillionWould a Health Warning on Every Cigarette Help Smokers Quit?Docs Prescribe More Opioids at Certain Time of DayFDA Warns Juul About Illegal Marketing Claims and Pitch to YouthComing Soon: A 'Pot Breathalyzer'?More CT, MRI Scans Being Used, Despite Calls to Cut BackCancer Overtakes Heart Disease as #1 Killer of Middle-Aged in Wealthy NationsOxyContin Maker Purdue Offering Up to $12 Billion to Settle Opioid ClaimsThousands of Kidneys Thrown Away by U.S. Transplant Centers
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Judge Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay $572 Million Over Opioid Drug Crisis

HealthDay News
by -- E.J. Mundell
Updated: Aug 27th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An Oklahoma judge on Monday ruled against one of America's biggest companies, Johnson & Johnson -- ordering it to pay $572 million as part of the first trial of an opioid maker sued by a state for the human and financial costs of the prescription painkiller crisis.

The verdict could have huge implications as other states and communities target pharmaceutical firms for the epidemic of opioid abuse that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States since 2000. Over 2,000 lawsuits on the issue are aimed at various drug companies.

Oklahoma has accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, of creating a public nuisance that cost the state billions of dollars and caused thousands of deaths. Johnson & Johnson has denied any wrongdoing.

The state had asked for nearly $17.2 billion over 30 years to tackle the problem.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman released his decision Monday afternoon.

"The opioid crisis is an imminent danger and menace to Oklahomans," Balkman, of Cleveland County District Court, said in delivering his decision, The New York Times reported.

Lawyers representing the state applauded the decision.

"We've shown that J&J was at the root cause of this opioid crisis,"
Brad Beckworth, the lead attorney for the state, told the Times. "It made billions of dollars from it over a 20-year period. They've always denied responsibility and yet at the same time they say they want to make a difference in solving this problem. So do the right thing: come in here, pay the judgment."

J&J disputes the notion that it helped create the opioid abuse epidemic, however.

"Janssen did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, and neither the facts nor the law support this outcome," Michael Ullmann, the general counsel and executive vice president of J&J, said in a statement. "We recognize the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue and we have deep sympathy for everyone affected."

The company does have deep pockets from which to pay the fine: According to the Times, J&J's drug making subsidiary, Janssen, made more than $23 billion in United States in 2018 alone.

Oklahoma's lawyers argued that the state has been hit hard by a flood of addictive opioids.

Speaking to the Times Oklahoma attorney general Mike Hunter said that in just three years -- 2015 to 2018 -- 18 million opioid prescriptions were written in a state with a population of just under 4 million people. And he added that since 2000, opioid drug overdoses have claimed the lives of about 6,000 Oklahomans.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription opioids.




Facebook

Amazon Smile

To quit smoking, call Connecticut QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  Please contact HBH Intake Department at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net