Johnson & Johnson Loses First Opioid Lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson Loses First Opioid Lawsuit
  • Johnson & Johnson is one of the country’s largest opioid manufacturers.
  • Like Purdue, they have been accused of dangerous false advertising campaigns.
  • Many – including the courts – believe J&J failed to be honest with doctors and patients.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing is only a fraction of the conglomerate’s holdings.

On Monday, August 26th, the State of Oklahoma won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson under the premise that the pharmaceutical company held some responsibility for the opioid crisis in the United States. As the first state to file (and win) this kind of lawsuit, Oklahoma sets a precedent for other cases against pharmaceutical companies actively playing a role in the opioid addiction epidemic.

In Oklahoma, opioids were responsible for 388 overdose deaths in 2017. Nationwide, the numbers were much higher – around 70,200 in the same year. 68% of those deaths involved opioid misuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It was its approach to marketing opioids that ultimately got Johnson & Johnson in trouble. Allegedly, sales agents and marketers told doctors and patients the opioids they sold were safe and effective for pain. These tactics were clearly misleading, directly resulting in an overall increase in opioid-driven addiction and deaths.

Currently, there are roughly 2,000 active lawsuits against drug companies manufacturing and selling opioids across multiple brands. Some may choose to settle like Purdue Pharma, while others may go to trial and potentially face a similar end result as Johnson & Johnson. Either way, the people have clearly had enough of the pharmaceutical industry’s lies.

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