J&J’s Janssen settles $99M opioid lawsuit with West Virginia

J&J’s Janssen settles $99M opioid lawsuit with West Virginia



West Virginia will receive $99 million in a settlement with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals on Monday. Drugmakers’ role in perpetuating opioid crisis In states that have long been responsible for drug overdose deaths nationwide.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a news conference that he believes West Virginia’s per capita settlement is the largest in the nation, Janssen, the company that faces opioids in dozens of communities across the country. litigation

The attorney general said the number reflects the severity of the opioid crisis in West Virginia.

“We think this represents an important step forward to begin raising funds to help West Virginians devastated by the opioid epidemic,” Morrissey said in his state Capitol office.

Settlement announced At the start of the third week of testimony In the state’s case against Janssen, Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., AbbVie Inc.’s Allergan and their family companies. The companies are accused of downplaying or failing to mention the addiction risks associated with opioid use in West Virginia, while exaggerating the benefits of prescription drugs.

Spokespeople for Johnson & Johnson and Janssen said in a statement on Monday that the settlement was not an admission of responsibility or wrongdoing by the companies.

“The company’s conduct in the marketing and promotion of important opioid prescription drugs is appropriate and responsible,” the release reads. According to the press release, the company no longer sells prescription opioids in the United States.

Morrissey said cities and counties in West Virginia could start receiving settlements within 45 days. The money will be used to help communities deal with the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, he said the trials against Teva and Allergan are proceeding as scheduled.

“We will hold Teva and Allergan accountable without delay, and we will now be back in court,” he said.

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The state’s lawsuit, filed in 2019, accuses the companies of creating a nuisance and violating the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Lawyers for the companies said in their opening statements earlier this month that their individual products, which have a market share of well below 1 percent in West Virginia, are medically necessary prescriptions that are unlikely to contribute to the state’s opioid problem. .

But pharmaceutical marketing expert Matthew Perri testify He “painfully” reviewed thousands of pages of marketing material from the company. He described a “paradigm shift” from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, in which companies moved from selling opioids as drugs designed for patients with advanced cancer to those designed to treat long-term pain.

Marketing materials used by sales reps described the drug as “safe and effective” in managing patient pain and “improving function and quality of life,” Perri testified.

“It removes barriers there, effectively lowering the threshold for opioid prescribing,” he said. “Opioids can be prescribed faster during treatment, no worries.”


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