J&J to stop selling opiates, agrees to set up $ 230M with NY

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $ 230 million to New York State to resolve claims that the pharmaceutical giant has helped fuel the opioid crisis, Attorney General Letitia James said Saturday.

The pharmacist also agreed to permanently end the manufacture and distribution of opiates in New York and the rest of the nation, James said in a statement announcing the establishment.

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

The deal involving a lawsuit brought by James in 2019 removes Johnson & Johnson from a lawsuit that is scheduled to begin next week on Long Island – part of a mass litigation over an epidemic linked to nearly 500,000 deaths in the United States. last two decades.

In their statement Saturday, Johnson & Johnson downplayed the attorney general’s announcement. He said the establishment involved two prescribed painkillers – developed by a subsidiary and accounting for less than 1% of the market – that are no longer sold in the United States.

Johnson & Johnson said the establishment “was not an admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of the company.” He added that his actions “relating to the marketing and promotion of over-the-counter painkillers were appropriate and responsible.”

The settlement was the latest development in the complex universe of opiate-related lawsuits in the United States that compared it to the multistate litigation against tobacco companies in the 1990s. It reflects a path taken by some large pharmaceutical companies see it stalled as in their best interests, in part because that road wouldn’t cost as much as they lost in court repeatedly.

Johnson & Johnson — along with distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — made public last year that they offered a total of $ 26 billion over 18 years to solve all the cases they face, with the money going to the crisis subsided.

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