It’s payback time for the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson. This week, a judge in Norman, OK has ruled the corporate giant complicit in the state’s opioid crisis, putting the parmaceutical corporation on the hook for $572 million.
Judge Thad Balkman’s landmark ruling is the very first that holds a pharmaceutical company, particularly one as large as Johnson & Johnson, responsible for years of influencing both the medical community and its patients to dispense and receive opioids which may not have been necessary in the first place. The company began campaigns to promote the prescribing of opioids in the 1990s; about 400,000 deaths have occurred from painkiller addiction since the late 1990s.
Additionally, there are federal cases pending against those in the pharmaceutical industry by over 2,000 American cities, counties, and territories in more than 40 states. Thus, Judge Balkman’s ruling could affect the strategies of both plaintiffs and pharmaceutical countries for years to come.