J&J will stop selling opiates in the US after $ 230m in New York

Johnson and Johnson have agreed to stop selling opiates in the United States under a $ 230 million deal with New York State to resolve claims that helped fuel the prescribed painkiller epidemic.

The company, which made opiates including a fentanyl patch and a tablet, denied any wrongdoing, but stopped manufacturing and distributing opioids in the United States.

The settlement is part of a wave of more than 3,000 lawsuits across the United States aimed at forcing opioid producers and distributors to take financial responsibility for an epidemic that officials accuse of their aggressive marketing of highly addictive drugs. .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that opioid overdoses have killed 500,000 Americans in two decades. Many of these deaths involved prescription analgesics made by drugs and prescribed by doctors.

At its facility, J&J will avoid going to trial next week, when New York state plans to sue other opiate producers and distributors in court.

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged countless communities across New York State and in the rest of the nation, leaving millions still dependent on dangerous and deadly opioids,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement.

“Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this outbreak, but today they are committed to quitting opioid activity – not just in New York, but across the country,” he said.

James added that the pharmaceutical company’s heavy opioid marketing was partly motivated by quotas for sales staff.

J&J said its “actions relating to the marketing and promotion of over-the-counter painkillers were appropriate and responsible.”

In March 2019, James filed a widespread complaint against opiate manufacturers and distributors. In addition to J&J, the complainant named Purdue Pharma and the members of the Sackler family who owned it, Mallinckrodt, Endo and Teva among others. It has also targeted distributors including McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen.

The cases against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler and Mallinckrodt family are now pending in the U.S. bankruptcy court. The trial against all the other defendants is scheduled to begin next week.

In August, J&J was ordered by a judge in Oklahoma to pay $ 465 million after being found responsible in a 2019 lawsuit for publicly harassing the opioid crisis in the state.

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