Opioid crisis: A judge in the US state of Oklahoma has imposed a $ 57.2 million (about Rs 4,100 crore) fine on American health care company Johnson & Johnson in a drug-related opioid crisis case. The judge said in his judgment that the company deliberately ignored the threat of opioids and persuaded doctors to prescribe narcotic analgesics for its own benefit. The judge, however, ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay significantly less than the amount sought by the state government for the treatment of opioid victims. The state government had demanded $ 17 billion (about Rs 1.20 lakh crore).
The dangerous market grew addictive
The judge district court in Cleveland County, Oklahoma that Balkman serious note in his judgment, said Johnson & Johnson violated state law. The company’s inaccurate, misleading and dangerous marketing quickly led to drug addiction and overdose cases led to death. State’s head attorney Brad Backworth said, “We have proved that Johnson & Johnson is the root cause of this opioid crisis.” It earned billions of dollars over 20 years.
The company will appeal against the verdict:
“We have a strong basis to appeal and we will challenge it with full vigor,” said Sabrina Strong, a Johnson & Johnson lawyer. While Michael Ullmann, the company’s executive vice president, said, “The opioid crisis did not arise in Oklahoma because of Janssen.” We have found that the opioid crisis is a complex public health issue. We have a deep sympathy with everyone affected by this. ‘
60 percent used to supply narcotics
Johnson & Johnson used to supply about 60 percent of narcotics in Tasmania to people who contracted opium. With its use, pharmaceutical companies used to manufacture opioid drugs like oxycodone. Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, was beginning to manufacture its own opioid drug. The possession of this tablet was sold in 2015.
What is opioid?
The painkillers made from opium are called opioids, but some people use it for intoxication. According to America’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention Agency, about four lakh people died in the country from 1999 to 2017 due to opioids.
Two and a half thousand lawsuits on the companies
The decision of the judge was in the eye of about two dozen companies making opioid drugs because about two and a half thousand similar cases are going on in the US on the companies, distributors, and sellers making these drugs.
The two companies entered into an agreement
The two other pharmaceutical companies, which have been accused in the Johnson & Johnson case, have already entered into an agreement with Paderu Pharma of the US and Teva Oklahoma of Israel. Paderu agreed to pay $ 27 million (about Rs 1,900 crore) and Teva $ 85 million (about Rs 600 crore).