J&J agrees to cease promoting opioids in $230 million settlement with New York
New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference, to announce criminal justice reform in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Saturday that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to halt sales of opioids nationwide in a $230 million settlement with New York state.
As part of the settlement, the company will resolve opioids-related claims and allocate payments over nine years. It could also pay $30 million more in the first year if the state executive chamber signs into law new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund, according to the press release from James’ office.
The settlement follows years of lawsuits by states, cities and counties against major pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. in the last couple decades.
Governments have argued that companies over-prescribed the drugs, causing people to become addicted and abuse other illegal forms of opioids, while companies have said they’ve distributed the necessary amount of the product to help people with medical issues.
“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities across New York state and the rest of the nation, leaving millions still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said in a statement.
“Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they’re committing to leaving the opioid business — not only in New York, but across the entire country,” she said.
The New York opioid lawsuit trial against the rest of the defendants will begin this week, according to the release. Johnson & Johnson still faces lawsuits in other parts of the country.
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