By: Shannon Persad
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Johnson & Johnson Pays 20.4 Million Settlement Amidst Opioid Crisis
Many pharmaceutical companies are paying the price for allegedly starting the opioid crisis, beginning in the late 1990s.
In August, Johnson & Johnson faced a $574 million lawsuit in Oklahoma, accused of escalating the opioid epidemic in the state of Oklahoma.
Now, Johnson & Johnson settled $20.4 million with two Ohio counties as it’s in the middle of a federal trial.
Are Settlements the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?
According to The Washington Post, “Johnson & Johnson would pay Cuyahoga and Summit counties $10 million in cash, reimburse $5 million in legal fees and direct $5.4 million to nonprofits for opioid-related programs in those communities.”
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, who have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis in New Jersey, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. They state this settlement allows the company to help communities in need, while the company avoids “resource demands” as it awaits a trial.
Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only company to settle with the two Ohio counties recently. Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals paid 24 million in cash and $6 million in donations. The settlement aims at supporting efforts within the community, fighting opioid addiction.
In September, the creator of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma filed bankruptcy due to many lawsuits against the entity. However, it is still expected to pay its fair share as its accused of fueling the opioid crisis. The Washington Post states in the upcoming weeks, Purdue Pharma is expected to pay a settlement of $12 billion, despite filing for bankruptcy.
While many states will continue to go after healthcare companies who have done more harm than good, these settlements go into community programs to combat the opioid epidemic.
Johnson & Johnson’s settlement of $20.4 million with two Ohio counties is the beginning of many settlements to come from pharmaceutical companies, especially with a $574 million lawsuit hovering over Johnson & Johnson themselves.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the opioid crisis started in the late 1990s with pharmaceutical companies stating their drugs are not addictive. Two decades later, these same companies are paying the price for pushing their prescriptions when they were, in fact, addictive.