We are moving forward with our appeal of this judgment because it is neither supported by the facts nor the law. We recognize the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue and have deep sympathy for everyone affected. We do not believe litigation is the answer and are continuing to work with partners to find solutions.
Today marks another procedural step on the way to appeal. As was said when the judgment was announced, the Company has very strong grounds to have this decision overturned. The Company manufactured FDA-approved pain medicines, took steps to educate doctors so they could make informed treatment decisions with their patients, and trained their sales representatives to lawfully provide appropriate and accurate information to doctors.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – October 1, 2019: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies today announced a settlement agreement with the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit that resolves all of the counties’ claims with no admission of liability and removes the Company from the federal trial scheduled to begin October 21, 2019. As part of the agreement, the Company will make a combined $10 million settlement payment to the counties.
The settlement allows the Company to avoid the resource demands and uncertainty of a trial as it continues to seek meaningful progress in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. The Company recognizes the opioid crisis is a complex public health challenge and is working collaboratively to help communities and people in need.
Read the full press release by clicking here.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – August 26, 2019: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies today announced they will appeal the $572 million civil judgment entered in Cleveland County District Court in the State of Oklahoma’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. The Company is confident it has strong grounds to appeal this decision.
The judgment disregards the Company’s compliance with federal and state laws, the unique role its medicines play in the lives of the people who need them, its responsible marketing practices and that since launch, DURAGESIC®, NUCYNTA® and NUCYNTA® ER have accounted for less than one percent of total opioid prescriptions in Oklahoma as well as the United States.
“Janssen did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, and neither the facts nor the law support this outcome,” said Michael Ullmann, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Johnson & Johnson. “We recognize the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue and we have deep sympathy for everyone affected. We are working with partners to find ways to help those in need.”
Read the full press release by clicking here.
We agree opioid abuse is a significant public health problem in Oklahoma, but the facts and the law in this case warrant a judicial decision rejecting the State’s public nuisance claim. Not once did the State identify a single Oklahoma doctor who was misled by a single Janssen statement, nor did it prove that Janssen misleadingly marketed opioids or caused any harm in Oklahoma. The State’s attempt to resolve this tremendously complex social problem with an unprecedented expansion of public nuisance law is misguided and legally unsustainable
We recognize that opioid abuse and addiction in Oklahoma and across the United States is a complex and serious problem, and it requires all of us – companies, scientists, frontline health care professionals, regulators and policymakers – to work together. Public health issues require public health solutions, and we are committed to participating in the ongoing efforts.
In this litigation, the evidence showed that our company responsibly marketed and promoted our prescription opioid medicines, appropriately following the law and regulatory process. We did what a responsible company should do.
Throughout trial, our team repeatedly laid waste to the State’s case which it built on misstatements and distortions. The facts are that Janssen appropriately provided essential pain treatment options to Oklahomans while balancing the inherent risks associated with these medicines.
The evidence presented by the State does not support its sweeping allegations. Instead, they unfairly and improperly continue to pursue their unsustainable case – with broad ramifications for industry – by asking the court to legislate and arbitrate this incredibly complex public health problem.
Janssen and Johnson & Johnson will continue to work towards meaningful solutions, outside of the courtroom. We respectfully await the judge’s decision.
We recognize that the opioid abuse crisis is a complex problem, and we are committed to being part of the ongoing dialogue to find ways to address this crisis. Despite the complexity of this problem, the State of Oklahoma is attempting to hold Janssen and Johnson & Johnson liable for billions of dollars in damages – all without offering evidence that shows our companies were the cause of Oklahoma’s opioid crisis.
After five weeks of testimony, the State of Oklahoma has officially rested its case. On July 3, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson filed a motion for judgement that outlines our view that the State did not present sufficient evidence to support its claims.
The motion is available here.
Despite the stated complexity of this problem, the State is attempting to hold Janssen and Johnson & Johnson liable for damages without offering any evidence that the companies were the cause of Oklahoma’s opioid crisis. The State’s case disregards federal laws and regulations concerning prescription medicines, and ignores established legal precedent and the separation of powers doctrine, threatening to thrust the Court and the parties into uncharted legal waters long after the conclusion of this case. Now that the State has formally rested its case, we have filed a motion that respectfully requests the Court find in favor of defendants because, as detailed fully in the motion, the State does not have sufficient evidence to prove its claims.
Our actions in the marketing and promotion of these important prescription pain medications were appropriate and responsible. The FDA-approved labels for these prescription pain medications provide clear information about their risks and benefits. The allegations made against our company are baseless and unsubstantiated. In fact, since 2008, our opioid medications have accounted for less than one percent of the U.S. market for this class of medications (including generics).
Opioid abuse and addiction are serious public health issues. We are committed to being part of the ongoing dialogue and to doing our part to find ways to address this crisis.
We acted responsibly in providing FDA-approved pain medications, and we are ready for trial. We disagree with the State’s overly expansive theories of public nuisance law, which should not apply in this situation. At the same time, as with all litigation, if an appropriate resolution is possible that avoids the expense and uncertainty of a trial, we are always open to that option.
The State ignores basic facts. Johnson & Johnson did not manufacture, sell, or market the FDA-approved medicines made by other companies that used Noramco APIs. The State also ignores that the production of raw materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients are tightly regulated by the FDA and DEA, both of which approved Noramco’s output.
Oklahoma for more than a century has limited public nuisance to disputes involving property or public spaces—for example, to remedy an intrusion from an overgrown hedge. The State ignores this well-established law and now argues that public nuisance allows them to compel any party allegedly contributing in any measure to a social problem to fund all programs that state administrators dream up to address it. This is not and should not be the law. It threatens every company and industry doing business in the State of Oklahoma.
*Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are publicly presenting on this website documents provided that have been disclosed as part of ongoing discovery in this litigation. Documents shared here are not confidential or have been released by the court as part of ongoing litigation. This website will be periodically updated.