The US pharmaceutical giant agreed to pay up to 230 million U.S. dollars to settle its claims to help drive the deadly opioid epidemic.
The New York State Attorney General said on Saturday that the US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay up to $230 million to resolve the company’s claims for helping to promote the opioid crisis.
Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement, “The opioid epidemic has caused severe damage to countless communities in New York State and other parts of the United States, leaving millions of people still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids.
“Johnson & Johnson contributed to this fire, but today they pledged to withdraw from the opioid business-not only in New York, but throughout the country. Johnson & Johnson will no longer produce or sell opioids in the United States,” James said.
“We will also provide up to $230 million in funding to fund opioid prevention, treatment, and education in New York State.”
The transaction involves a lawsuit filed by James in 2019 and removes Johnson & Johnson from the trial scheduled to begin on Long Island next week.
It is part of A series of litigation Over the past 20 years, this pandemic has caused nearly half a million deaths.
“So effective, by paying the settlement money, [Johnson & Johnson] Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reported from Washington, DC that it had been freed from a trial that was completely unprecedented in its scope. Hannah added that the upcoming trial will be conducted by a jury-this is “something that has never happened in this type of case.”
In Saturday’s statement, Johnson & Johnson underestimated the Attorney General’s statement. It said the settlement involved two prescription painkillers — developed by a subsidiary that accounted for less than 1% of the market — and were no longer sold in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson stated that the settlement agreement “is not the company’s admission of responsibility or misconduct.” It added that its “actions related to the marketing and promotion of important prescription painkillers are appropriate and responsible”.
The company also said that these settlements are consistent with its previous agreement, which is to pay $5 billion to settle claims from state, city, county, and tribal governments across the country for opioids.
The healthcare company and America’s largest drug distributors—AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc, and McKesson Corp—have proposed to pay a total of $26 billion to end thousands of opioid lawsuits.
Tuesday’s opioid trial is one of several trials planned for this year, and others are underway in California and West Virginia.
West Virginia has the highest death rate from an opioid overdose in the country. There has been a surge in overdose since the early 2000s, when manufacturers of prescription drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone increased their sales through pharmacies and doctors with little control.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that from 1999 to 2019, nearly 500,000 people died from opioid overdose.