Oklahoma’s attorney general is suing billion-dollar corporation Johnson & Johnson for its alleged role in fueling the state’s opioid epidemic and for downplaying the risks of its opioid painkillers.
According to ABC News, two other pharmaceutical companies that are defendants in the lawsuit have already settled with Oklahoma. Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $85 million on Sunday and Purdue Pharma, which manufactures the painkiller OxyContin, agreed to pay $270 million in March 2019.
A report by The Guardian states that representatives and attorneys with Johnson & Johnson struggled to explain the company’s marketing strategies, which accusers say dangerously misrepresented the dangers associated with opioid medications to doctors and specifically targeted its most addictive medications to men under the age of 40.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson and other painkiller manufacturers have been accused of distorting research by selectively quoting results and omitting information about the dangers of their narcotic painkillers. The case in Oklahoma is just one of thousands of pending cases against the manufacturers of opioid medications. However, the outcome of the case could have a significant impact on future cases and other opioid drug manufacturers.