Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572m for its part in fuelling Oklahoma’s opioid addiction crisis, a judge in the US state has ruled.
Johnson & Johnson have already said following the ruling that they would appeal.
This was the first case to go to trial from a backlog of thousands of lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Already this year, Oklahoma made a settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma for $270m and Teva Pharmaceutical for $85m, leaving J&J as the lone defendant.
BBC News Reports:
Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, said prosecutors had demonstrated that J&J contributed to a “public nuisance” in its deceptive promotion of highly addictive prescription painkillers.
“Those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans. The opioid crisis is an imminent danger and menace to Oklahomans,” he said in his ruling.
The $572 Million will be used to help those who have fallen victim to opioid addiction.
In the period from 1999 to 2017 there were a reported 400,000 overdoses from opioids in the US, with 6000 deaths reported in the Oklahoma area since 2000.
Johnson & Johnson have been accused of promoting the drugs and its benefits without informing the public of its very serious dangers.
State Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement
“Johnson & Johnson will finally be held accountable for thousands of deaths and addictions caused by their actions,”
This isn’t the first time Johnson & Johnson have been held accountable for their medical crimes, only last year Johnson & Johnson were on trial over claims of Asbestos in their Talc baby products:
Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. [source]
The sad thing is, this will all blow over, people will forget and these pharmaceutical giants will continue their medical tyranny over humanity.