Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York State $230 Million to settle one Opioid Case!

The Law of Cause & Effect, is the fundamental principle of nature and physics that explains everything that occurs in nature and is also referred to by the term of art – “What Goes Around Comes Around,” which can be observed in the lives of individuals and groups of individuals including families, tribes, companies, religious orders, governments, entire countries and other.

At the root of the Opioid crisis are many individuals, companies, doctors, pharmacists, politicians, consultants and others who have enabled the crisis and profited from it. Moreover, this debacle of unprecedented suffering has now lasted for more than 20 years and claimed more than 800,000 American lives, and counting. At the center of the slime is the Sackler family, perpetrators of the worst drug crisis to ever test the resolve of law enforcement and millions of families who have witnessed the raging effects of opioid addiction first hand. In addition, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson played a pivotal role. Until selling the business in 2016, J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals had supplied 60% of the ingredients that make opioids, to the companies who made the finished product. In 2019 they were ordered to pay Oklahoma $465 million for that indiscretion. Hundreds of cases remain.

This New York State settlement agreement came just days before opening arguments in a sweeping trial of several defendants, including the company. Perhaps that is the reason why J&J’s effort to be pandemic heroes with their one-shot vaccine has fallen so flat. After being hailed as  a central part of the plan to vaccinate as many Americans as possible, J&J’s product accounts for only 12 million out of 320 million doses administered. 

“Hell no, J&J SOB’s! No bonuses or pandemic heroes for the same creeps that own so much responsibility for the other crisis that has killed so many loved ones. Too bad Janssen! You knew exactly what you were doing by selling the opioid ingredients. You planted very bad seeds. Now reap the thorns that you so deserve! What goes around does come around and it looks like this is just the beginning for you! Bastards!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/26/nyregion/johnson-johnson-opioid-lawsuit-new-york.html?smid=em-share

 

Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York $230 Million to Settle Opioid Case

The settlement agreement came just days before opening arguments in a sweeping trial of several defendants, including the company.

Johnson & Johnson said the settlement was not an admission of liability or wrongdoing. It has not sold opioids in the country since last year.
Credit…Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson will pay New York State more than $230 million in a settlement that also ensures the company will permanently stay out of the opioid business in the United States, the state attorney general’s office announced on Saturday.

The settlement comes at a time when the opioid industry is facing over 3,000 lawsuits across the nation for its contribution to an epidemic of prescription and street opioid abuse that has killed more than 800,000 Americans in the last 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And it came just days before opening arguments in a sweeping New York trial in which the company was to be among the defendants. That trial will be the first of its kind to go before a jury, and the first to target the entire opioid supply chain, from the drugmakers who manufactured the pills to the distributors that supplied them to a pharmacy chain that filled prescriptions for them.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities across New York State and the rest of the nation, leaving millions still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they’re committing to leaving the opioid business — not only in New York, but across the entire country.”

Attorney General Letitia James’s office announced the settlement on Saturday.
Credit…Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said that the settlement was not an admission of liability or wrongdoing and that “the company’s actions relating to the marketing and promotion of important prescription pain medications were appropriate and responsible.”

It has not sold opioids in the United States since last year, when it ceased production of its last opioid product; and it stopped supplying opioid ingredients to other manufacturers in 2016.

Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, one of the defendants in the New York trial that will be removed from the case because of the settlement. The company will also pay an additional $33 million as reimbursement for New York’s attorney fees and costs. The payments for the total will be made over nine years.

The money is not intended to compensate people harmed by the opioid crisis, but rather for what is known as abatement, mitigating harm and preventing future crises with things like education and addiction treatment programs.

The funds will be distributed to the counties subject to an allocation agreement with the state that is currently being finalized, according to Jayne Conroy, lawyer with Simmons Hanly Conroy, who is representing Suffolk County in the case.

The sprawling opioid case about to begin in New York was filed by the attorney general and by Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, and is being argued jointly. It includes claims that the companies, like Janssen, misled the public by initially denying the drugs were highly addictive, and aggressively marketed them as such, ignoring warnings of abuse as they chased profits.

The drugs that Janssen developed included a fentanyl patch and a tablet that was crush-resistant, marketed under names like Duragesic and Nucynta, which, according to Johnson & Johnson, accounted for less than one percent of total opioid prescriptions in the United States. It stopped marketing its opioids in 2016 in the United States and later discontinued the fentanyl patch. In 2020, it ceased production of the pill in the United States as well.

For years, Johnson & Johnson had supplied 60 percent of the ingredients that make opioids to companies that used them to make drugs like Oxycodone, contracting with poppy growers in Tasmania. In 2016, they sold the business that supplied the materials.

Johnson & Johnson has struggled under waves of bad publicity. It suffered a defeat in an opioid trial in 2019 when an Oklahoma judge ordered it to pay the state $465 million for its role in the public nuisance created by opioid addiction. It has been ordered to pay millions in courts that have found products like its talcum powder and hip implants to be harmful. Most recently, its coronavirus vaccine has been plagued by a troubled rollout.

The one-shot vaccine was initially seen as a vital tool in combating Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. But a host of concerns with production and the drug itself has seen the company’s product account for just about 12 million of the more than 320 million doses administered in the United States so far, according to C.D.C. data.

In April, federal health officials paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after cases of a rare blood-clotting disorder emerged as a side effect. In June, a mix-up in a Baltimore factory resulted in the government ordering the disposal of 60 million potentially contaminated vaccine doses.

The exit of Johnson & Johnson from the New York case means that two of the country’s biggest drugmakers will now be absent from the trial when opening arguments begin on Tuesday. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, owned by members of the billionaire Sackler family and the company most publicly linked to the opioid epidemic, is also no longer standing trial.

Though initially named in the case, as were some individual Sacklers, Purdue filed for bankruptcy nearly two years ago as it faced thousands of opioid-related lawsuits. The bankruptcy process has paused cases against the drugmaker and the Sacklers.

In addition, in the weeks before opening arguments were to be made before a six-person jury and a New York Supreme Court justice, Jerry Garguilo, three of the four pharmacy chains — Walmart Inc., Rite Aid Corp. and CVS — were severed from the case; one of them, CVS, confirmed it had reached a settlement agreement with the counties, the terms of which are not yet final and public. Walmart and Rite Aid did not respond to emails requesting comment.

Walgreens remains one of the defendants that will face a jury next week.

Ms. Conroy, who is representing Suffolk County, cautioned that Saturday’s announcement did not mark the end of the case. “While this settlement is good news, there still remains a crucially important trial starting next week,” she said in a statement.

“We remain focused on ensuring the other defendants who played a major role in creating the opioid crisis are held accountable for their actions,” she said.

Jan Hoffman contributed reporting.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated the month when U.S. health officials paused use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It was April, not June. It also incorrectly described Covid-19. Covid-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus, not the other way around.

Sarah Maslin Nir covers breaking news for the Metro section. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her series “Unvarnished,” an investigation into New York City’s nail salon industry that documented the exploitative labor practices and health issues manicurists face. @SarahMaslinNir


Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York State $230 Million to settle one Opioid Case

Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York State $230 Million to settle one Opioid Case

Canada’s Nightmare!

Canada has failed its Indigenous youth.

Canada’s Nightmare!

We’re talking about residential schools. Since the 1880s, Canada has funded about 150 boarding schools, most run by the Catholic Church. The goal: to forcibly assimilate Indigenous kids into Canadian society. More than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to go to these schools – forbidden from speaking their native language or performing cultural practices. At least 4,000 never returned home. Their parents were given no explanations. Officials called them “missing children.” But it’s not a thing of the distant past: the last of these schools shut their doors in the late 1990s. Now, unmarked graves are being discovered – shedding a light on Canada’s dark past.

Last month, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation discovered a burial site of 215 children on former school grounds in British Columbia. This week, the Cowessess First Nation said they found the graves of an estimated 751 people in Saskatchewan – many reportedly children. Overall, Indigenous communities have found hundreds of unmarked graves throughout Canada. And it’s not yet clear how they died. Diseases like tuberculosis were rampant back then. Many children suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Priests and monks reportedly impregnated girls, incinerating the infants after birth. And schools buried the bodies near or on school grounds to save money.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to help Indigenous communities – and the gov’s dedicated some money to help with searches. Pope Francis has called the discovery “sad.” But the Catholic Church has yet to apologize for its role – something many continue to call for. One Indigenous leader called the atrocities a “crime against humanity.” And communities have vowed to continue their search in efforts to get some sense of closure. Meanwhile, in the US – where similar schools existed in the 19th and 20th centuries – the Interior Dept is launching its own review.

For generations, the systemic abuse of Indigenous people has been dismissed. Now, Canada’s forced to face its dark past while communities are still trying to heal from generations of trauma.

Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York State $230 Million to settle one Opioid Case

Johnson & Johnson to Pay New York State $230 Million to settle one Opioid Case