Closing Arguments Expected Today In Closely Watched Oklahoma Trial Over Drugmakers’ Role In Opioid Crisis
The case against Johnson & Johnson was the first of of more than 2,000 actions by state and local governments accusing drug manufacturers of contributing to the epidemic, and is expected to set the tone for the court challenges following it. Meanwhile, the Sackler family is left reeling as details over Purdue Pharma's marketing strategy continue to emerge.
Oklahoma, J&J To Wrap Up First Trial Over Opioid Crisis
Oklahoma’s attorney general is expected on Monday to urge a judge to find Johnson & Johnson responsible for flooding the market with painkillers and fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic, as the first trial in nationwide litigation over the drug crisis comes to an end. Lawyers for Attorney General Mike Hunter and J&J are set to deliver closing arguments in state court in Norman, Oklahoma following six weeks of testimony from current and former J&J executives and victims of the epidemic. (Raymond, 7/15)
The Associated Press:
Closing Arguments In Opioid Trial Set For Today
Oklahoma’s is the first state case to proceed to trial and could help shape negotiations over roughly 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments that have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio. Oklahoma claims the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company aggressively marketed opioids in the state in a way that overstated their effectiveness to treat chronic pain and understated the addiction risks. (7/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
OxyContin Made The Sacklers Rich. Now It’s Tearing Them Apart.
Jacqueline Sackler was fed up. HBO’s John Oliver would soon use his TV show to pillory her family, the clan that owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In a nearly 15-minute Sunday-night segment, he joined a long line of people who blamed the Sacklers in part for the nation’s opioid crisis. Before the show aired, Ms. Sackler, who is married to a son of a company co-founder, emailed her in-laws, lawyers and advisers. “This situation is destroying our work, our friendships, our reputation and our ability to function in society,” she wrote. “And worse, it dooms my children. How is my son supposed to apply to high school in September?” (Hopkins, 7/13)
And in other news —
The Associated Press:
Virginia To Get Share Of Opioid Settlement
Virginia is set to get a still-to-be determined amount of a $1.4 billion settlement to resolve U.S. investigations into the marketing of an anti-addiction drug. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that a British-based company has agreed to settle over allegations its former Virginia-based subsidiary, Indivior, sought to increase prescriptions for Suboxone Film by deceiving health care providers into believing the drug was safer than other opioid addiction treatments. (7/12)
AG Phil Weiser Backs Philly In Lawsuit Over Supervised-Drug-Use Sites, Even If Colorado’s Effort Is Stalled
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is supporting a Philadelphia nonprofit in its legal battle with the federal government over whether it should be allowed to open a supervised drug consumption site in that city, stepping into an issue at the center of one of Colorado’s most divisive political debates. Weiser, a Democrat, joined six other states and Washington, D.C., in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the federal government’s legal battle with the Philadelphia nonprofit Safehouse, which wants to open a location where people can inject drugs, such as heroin, under the watch of medical professionals. (Paul, 7/11)