Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a $230 million settlement with the state of New York, which prohibits the corporation from promoting opioids and confirms it has discontinued sales of such medications in the United States.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Saturday that the deal prevents J&J from advertising opioids in any way and from lobbying on their behalf at the federal, state, or municipal level.
Johnson & Johnson has not sold opioids in the United States since 2015 and plans to completely exit the market in 2020.
The corporation will address opioid-related claims and distribute payments over a nine-year period as part of the settlement. Additionally, it might pay an additional $30 million in the first year if the state executive chamber passes new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund, according to a news statement from James’ office.
The settlement comes after years of litigation between states, towns, and counties and big pharmaceutical corporations over the opioid crisis, which has claimed roughly 500,000 lives in the United States over the last two decades.
Governments have stated that corporations overprescribed the medication, resulting in people developing an addiction and abusing other illegal types of opioids, while firms have maintained that they supplied the appropriate amount of the substance to assist people with medical concerns.
“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities throughout New York State and the rest of the country, leaving millions addicted to dangerous and lethal opioids,” James stated in a statement.
“Johnson & Johnson fueled this fire, but today they announced their intention to exit the opioid business — not just in New York, but throughout the country,” she stated. “J&J will cease manufacturing and selling opioids in the United States.”
According to the statement, the trial against the remaining defendants in the New York opioid lawsuit will begin this week. Purdue Pharma; Mallinckrodt LLC; Endo Health Solutions; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA; and Allergan Finance LLC are all named defendants in the New York lawsuit.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Saturday that the settlement “does not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of the company” and is “consistent with the terms of the previously announced $5 billion all-in settlement agreement in principle for the resolution of opioid lawsuits and claims brought by states, cities, counties, and tribal governments.
Additionally, the business stated that it would continue to defend itself against any cases that are not resolved by the final deal.
James stated that the state will prioritize financing for opioid prevention, treatment, and education in order to “avoid further devastation.”