Commonwealth Policy Center

Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $572 million judgment against it for producing and marketing opioid painkillers in Oklahoma. Attorneys for the state argued that Johnson & Johnson improperly marketed the drugs and failed to stop suspicious orders from shipping. Earlier in the year, Oklahoma settled lawsuits with Purdue Pharma for $270 million and Teva for $85 million. The crisis of opioid addiction has rocked the nation and people are looking for the culprit. But are drug makers to blame? Johnson and Johnson attorney, Sabrina Strong said, “litigation is not the answer to the crisis. Johnson & Johnson did not cause the opioid crisis.” She said, “Although it includes some diversion of prescription medicine, it’s largely driven by illegally manufactured drugs that are coming into the country from Mexico and elsewhere.”