The Oklahoma State Supreme Court on Tuesday annulled the decision to make the pharmacist pay Johnson & Johnson $ 465 million for his role in the opioid crisis.
A judge in 2019 had ordered the company to pay this sum to finance programs aimed at remedying the problem for one year. addiction crisis, which caused more than half a million deaths in 20 years in USA.
The court based its ruling on the law against public damages, finding that the company had adopted “deceptive marketing and promotion practices of opiates“.
It was the first civil trial against a usa laboratory related to opiates.
The State initially claimed $ 17 billion compensation corresponding to 20 years of funding for these programs.
The company appealed the sentence and the Oklahoma Supreme Court considered that the judge should not have relied on the public damages law to condemn the manufacturing, marketing and sales practices of J&J and overruled the decision.
J&J, like other pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue, which manufactured OxyContin, and large US drug distributors, are accused of having carried out, since 1996, an excessive promotion of their pain medications, causing a dependency crisis which is at the origin of an overdose explosion.
The distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health y McKesson, as well as J&J, agreed at the end of July to pay 26,000 million dollars to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.
The laboratory confirmed in June that it had suspended the production and sale of these substances.
For its part, the laboratory Purdue declared bankruptcy and agreed to pay 4.5 billion dollars to the victims and affected institutions in exchange for some immunity, at the civil level, for their owners, the family Sackler. This process runs its course.