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Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:38 AM

Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/22/johnson-and-johnson-opioids-crisis-lawsuit-latest-trial

Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma

Oklahoma is holding the drug giant with the family-friendly image responsible for its addiction epidemic

Chris McGreal in Kansas City

Sun 23 Jun 2019 07.00 BST Last modified on Sun 23 Jun 2019 07.02 BST

Day after day, the memos flashing across screens in an Oklahoma courtroom have jarred with the family-friendly public image of Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant best known for baby powder and Band-Aid.

In one missive, a sales representative dismissed a doctor’s fears that patients might become addicted to the company’s opioid painkillers by telling him those who didn’t die probably wouldn’t get hooked. Another proposes targeting sales of the powerfully addictive drugs at those most at risk: men under 40.

As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company has struggled to explain marketing strategies its accusers say dangerously misrepresented the risk of opioid addiction to doctors, manipulated medical research, and helped drive an epidemic that has claimed 400,000 lives over the past two decades.

Johnson & Johnson profited further as demand for opioids surged by buying poppy growing companies in Australia to supply the raw narcotic for its own medicines and other American drug makers.

One expert witness at the forefront of combatting the epidemic, Dr Andrew Kolodny, told the court he had little idea about Johnson & Johnson’s role until he saw the evidence in the case. “I think it’s fair to characterize Johnson & Johnson as a kingpin in our opioid crisis,” he said.

Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mike Hunter, is suing Johnson & Johnson for billions of dollars for its alleged part in driving addiction and overdoses in his state in the first full trial of a drug maker over the opioid epidemic.

But Hunter’s lawsuit has put the wider industry in the dock, too, by laying out how opioid manufacturers worked together to drive up sales by using their huge resources to influence medical policy and doctor prescribing. Hunter said the strategy was motivated by the industry’s “greed” as profits surged.

The case is being closely watched by a host of opioid makers, drug distributors and pharmacy chains facing more than 2,000 other lawsuits by communities across the country to see if a court is prepared to hold a pharmaceutical firm responsible for the worst drug epidemic in American history.
(snip)

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Reply Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma (Original post)
nitpicker Jun 2019 OP
happyaccident Jun 2019 #1
get the red out Jun 2019 #3
mucifer Jun 2019 #2
UpInArms Jun 2019 #4
Mosby Jun 2019 #5

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:57 AM

1. Bankrupt big pharma, get profit motive out of our healthcare!

 

I can dream, right? This actually looks kinda juicy, the War on Drugs has finally met it's real target.

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Response to happyaccident (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 07:54 AM

3. My dream too

With the false research and the lies they told Drs to sell their products they might as well have opened a chain of old fashioned opium dens.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 06:29 AM

2. This is murder. People who did this need to be in prison

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 08:59 AM

4. These drug manufacturers are guilty of murder

Marketing their deadly products..

A few high profile deaths are Tom Petty and the artist formerly known as Prince

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