Prosecutors accuse the agency of deceptively advertising and marketing painkillers and downplaying addiction dangers, fuelling a so-called “opioid epidemic.”
Johnson & Johnson denies accusations and says it marketed medicines responsibly.
It’s the first of 2,000 cases introduced by state, local, and tribal governments in opposition to pharmaceutical companies in the US.
On average, 130 Individuals die from an opioid overdose daily, based on the Centers for Illness Management and Prevention.
In 2017, of the 70,200 individuals who died from an overdose, 68% concerned a prescription or illicit opioid.
In its court docket filing, Oklahoma asserted that Johnson & Johnson was the “kingpin” behind “the worst man-made public health disaster in [the] state’s historical past,” producing and importing raw materials which different drug-makers used in their medications.
In opening statements in the metropolis of Norman on Tuesday, the state mentioned that Johnson & Johnson along with Purdue Pharma – which makes the prescript painkiller OxyContin – and Israel- based Teva Pharmaceuticals had pushed medical doctors to prescribe more opioids in the nineties by utilizing deceptive advertising and marketing.
State lawyer Brad Beckworth stated Johnson & Johnson did so by advertising opioids as “secure and efficient for a regular ache” however downplayed addictive qualities and thus helped to create a drug oversupply.
Mike Hunter, Oklahoma’s legal professional basic, instructed the court docket that it was time to hold the businesses “accountable for their actions.”
“That is the worst human-made public wellbeing disaster in our state’s historical past. To place it bluntly, this disaster is devastating Oklahoma,” he stated.
For Johnson & Johnson, lawyer Larry Ottaway mentioned the corporate’s advertising statements were no different to those made by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2009 which stated painkillers, when correctly managed, not often resulted in addictions.