On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson settled with two countries in Ohio. The value of the case was approximately $20.4 million. This is the latest attempt of the giant pharmaceutical firm to prevent an expensive and time-consuming federal trial related to the current opioid crisis in the United States.
The firm announced that the settlements with Summit and Cuyahoga counties will free them from any liability as well as the federal trial which is going to start soon.
“The settlement enables us to stay away from resource needs or uncertainty of a trial when it keeps seeking meaningful advancement in resolving the current opioid epidemic in our country,” said the spokesperson of Johnson & Johnson.
Johnson & Johnson will spend a total of $10 million for the settlement and another $5 million for expenses related to the litigation. Moreover, the company has to donate around $5.5 million to charitable groups or non-profit organizations that are related to opioids.
A couple of other opioid manufacturers are going to face the same federal trial this month in Ohio. They are in charge of misrepresenting the risks and side effects of using opioid-related drugs in the long run.
A similar trial took place in August when the Oklahoma court ruled against Johnson & Johnson. The company was accused of encouraging doctors and healthcare providers to prescribe opioids and misinterpreting the risks of addiction.
In the written decision, the judge said that the sales campaigns of Johnson & Johnson were planned to approach doctors many times in their careers. The company tried to push an “educational” program via paid speakers, funded articles in many medical journals, as wells as sales employees.
None of those campaigns properly dealt with the possible risks of addiction. Also, sales employees were not trained and informed about the addictive effects of opioid-related products. All of their marketing programs were “misleading, deceptive, and false.”
After the court decision, the pharmaceutical giant declared that it will appeal the decision.
In September, Purdue Pharma, which got billions of dollars from selling the prescription opioid-containing painkiller OxyContin, went bankruptcy after settling a multi-billion dollar deal. This procedure removed the company from the federal trial in Ohio this month. Any person or group who wants to seek compensation from Purdue Pharma must now go through the bankruptcy court instead.
The firm is currently budgeting millions of dollars in cases from other governments and entities.