The shareholders of Johnson & Johnson are relieved. Judge Thad Balkman of the court of the Norman (Oklahoma) has rendered a decision that was much less severe than they feared. The giant of the pharmacy is condemned to pay $ 572 million for its responsibility in the public health crisis born of over prescribing of opiates that have caused the death by overdose of over 4000 residents of Oklahoma and left thousands of others in the addiction.
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In the context of civil proceedings, the prosecutor of this State of 4 million residents, had asked the judge to impose a fine of 17, 5 billion dollars to cover the cost of health care and police engendered by this tragedy. Number of analysts believed that J&J has produced more than 15 billion dollars in profits last year, could be sentenced to the tune of $ 2 billion.
J&J and its subsidiary Janssen have limited the damage, but will nevertheless appeal the verdict. "Janssen has not caused the crisis of opiates in Oklahoma. Neither the facts nor the law cannot justify the outcome of this trial," said Michael Ullmann, the legal director of J&J.Slaughter far worse than the war in Viet Nam
On the otc market, outside of the hours of the listing, the price of J&J has climbed more than 2% on Monday evening after the announcement of the verdict. Since the beginning of this affair J&J believes it has good chances of escaping a large fine, in particular because its market share of opiates in Oklahoma is modest. On the other hand laboratories more directly vulnerable, such as Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have preferred to pay, respectively, $ 270-million and $ 85 million in may to the State of Oklahoma to avoid the trial.
"Janssen has not caused the crisis of opiates in Oklahoma. Neither the facts nor the law can justify the outcome of the trial."
The prospect of a verdict of $ 2 billion about the shareholders of a New Brunswick laboratory (New Jersey). The way to resolve the litigation in Oklahoma can make case law because of the dozens of other States, as well as hundreds of local communities, have also embarked on similar procedures. They aim not only Johnson & Johnson and other pharmaceutical companies such as Allergan, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma, as well as distributors such as AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health, and even pharmacy chains like Walgreens, RiteAid and Walmart.
The manufacturers of opiates are accused of having encouraged over-prescribing of pain medications, minimizing for years in their marketing campaigns to doctors, the hazards of addiction that these products accounted for. From 1999 to 2017, according to the federal statistics official, 400,000 people in the United States have died of overdose related to opioids. This represents a hecatomb much more dramatic than the war in Viet Nam.
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the image of the damage caused by the tobacco giants who for years had hidden what they knew of the devastation caused by the products they sold, the companies that are enriched in the crisis of the opiates today are from continuing operations. For several months a judge of the Cleveland (Ohio) is seized of a complaint under the collective name that brought together some 600 procedures for the various companies involved in this scandal.
The magistrate calls on all parties to negotiate an amicable settlement before the trial begins this fall. In this context, laboratories, and distributors have followed with great interest the trial of eight weeks led by the judge Balkman. The relative victory of Johnson & Johnson may encourage communities complainants to compromise.Updated Date: 30 August 2019, 00:00