An Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N to pay $572.1 million to the state for its part in fueling an opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers, a sum that was substantially less than investors had expected, driving up J&J's shares.
While the company has hit back at the decision - saying that since 2008, it has contributed less than 1 percent to the painkiller market (including generics) - the state referred to Johnson & Johnson as the "kingpin".
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accused J&J and other opioid makers of overstating the painkillers' benefits and understating their risks in relentless marketing campaigns that duped doctors into prescribing the drugs for ailments not approved by regulators. In Oklahoma, Teva opted to settle for $85 million instead of fighting the state's claims, while branded opioid maker Purdue Pharma agreed to pay $270 million.
Attorneys across the nation - especially those which are part of the trial set for federal court in OH this fall - have been "watching and learning from the case Oklahoma assembled, while defendants have been watching for vulnerabilities in that case", Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, said earlier this month.
The state's attorney general had filed the case, seeking $17 billion to address the impact of the drug crisis on Oklahoma. "We fear that other industries, including Oklahoma's oil and gas producers, may now be vulnerable to public nuisance law's applicability to them with regard to issues like climate change as the state looks for additional funding sources to manage public crises", Joyce said in a statement. Letting these drugs proliferate, the lawsuits say, violates those laws.
In the consolidated OH case, one estimate submitted to the court puts the total costs that communities face due to the epidemic at $453 billion over the coming decade.
As Oklahoma's trial ran through the summer, so did America's opioid epidemic.
"This judgment is a misapplication of public nuisance law that has already been rejected by judges in other states", Ullmann said in a statement.Читайте также: Google Reportedly to Move Smartphone Production to Vietnam
The relatively modest size of the penalty against J&J means that the stocks of other companies with opioid exposure - such as Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Amneal Pharmaceuticals - may be up in the markets Tuesday, Fadia wrote.
It's highly likely that the Oklahoma case will shape the nature of this upcoming trial, as its verdict represents a significant step forward for holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the crisis and its consequences.
"The opioid crisis is an imminent danger and menace to Oklahomans".
The state had asked for almost $17.2 billion over 30 years to tackle the problem. You can read Judge Balkman's full ruling here.
Another massive lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributers, and retailers in OH, due to begin hearings in October, may take its cue from the Oklahoma public nuisance lawsuit following the victory.
The lawsuits in OH hold the potential to replicate for opioids what the legal takedown in the 1990s did to tobacco companies, Humphreys said.
The company said in a statement that since 2008, its painkillers had accounted for less than 1% of the United States market, including generics.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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