J&J fails new bid to 'cut and run' from opioid case: Oklaho

强生公司试图从阿片类药物诉讼案中脱身,但法官表示审判将按计划进行

2019-07-11 17:01:00 FiercePharma

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After prosecutors rested their case in the Oklahoma opioid lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson kicked up an argument to toss out the case altogether. The state didn't offer enough evidence to show J&J really caused the addiction epidemic, the company claimed. The judge didn't buy it. In a Monday ruling, Judge Thad Balkman said the case will proceed as planned, noting that prosecutors had delivered sufficient evidence to warrant continuing the trial. J&J's attorneys had argued that prosecutors put the judge in an “untenable position” because if he ends up ruling against the company—and awards the state its billions in abatement costs—he’d be usurping the legislative process and setting health policy, Legal Newsline reports. The company also argued the state’s prosecution under its nuisance law is inappropriate. Oklahoma’s attorney general Mike Hunter said in a statement the motion was J&J’s “latest attempt to cut and run from the crisis it created.” “In every turn of this case, Johnson & Johnson has attempted to keep the judge and the public from seeing the truth,” he added. “Luckily, Judge Balkman has seen through all of these desperate motions that have attempted to remove, halt or delay the trial and justice for the thousands of deaths due to the epidemic.” In the trial that began on May 28, the state has presented evidence that the company created a “mutant” poppy strain in 1994 that allowed the company to produce large amounts of opioids. J&J met with Purdue for years to determine supply needs and the companies eventually teamed up, the state said. Further, the company marketed opioids as safe for routine pain treatment for more than a decade. In Oklahoma, the company’s sales reps visited doctors 150,000 times, the state said. The drugmaker targeted women and returning war veterans for its medicines, prosecutors showed, and engaged with “front groups” that amplified its marketing message. The state’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Terri White said at trial that it would cost more than $17 billion to address the state’s crisis. As the "primary cause," J&J should pay the expenses, prosecutors say. Oklahoma originally sued Purdue Pharma and Teva in addition to J&J, but those companies settled for a combined $355 million.
在俄克拉何马州阿片类药物诉讼案中,检察官停止审理此案后,强生公司(Johnson & Johnson)发起了一场辩论,打算彻底驳回此案。该公司声称,国家没有提供足够的证据来证明强生公司确实导致了上瘾的流行。 法官并不买账。 在周一的裁决中,法官萨德·巴尔克曼(Thad Balkman)表示,此案将按计划进行,并指出检察官已经提交了足够的证据,足以保证继续进行审判。 据《法制新闻》报道,强生的律师曾辩称,检察官将法官置于一个站不住脚的位置,因为如果他最终做出不利于强生的裁决,并向政府支付数十亿美元的减损成本,那么他将篡夺立法程序,制定医疗政策。 该公司还辩称,该州根据妨害法提起诉讼是不恰当的。 俄克拉荷马州司法部长迈克亨特在一份声明中说,这一动议是强生公司试图摆脱危机的最新尝试。 他补充说,在这个案件的每一个回合中,强生都试图阻止法官和公众看到真相。幸运的是,巴尔克曼法官已经看穿了所有这些绝望的动议,这些动议试图取消、停止或推迟审判,并为因疫情而死亡的数千人伸张正义。 在5月28日开始的试验中,该州提供的证据表明,该公司在1994年培育出一种变异罂粟品种,使该公司能够生产大量阿片类药物。纽约州表示,强生与普渡大学进行了多年的接触,以确定供应需求,两家公司最终进行了合作。此外,十多年来,该公司一直将阿片类药物作为常规疼痛治疗的安全药物进行推广。 在俄克拉荷马州,该公司的销售代表拜访医生15万次,该州说。检察官表示,这家制药公司针对妇女和退伍军人销售药品,并与宣传其营销信息的前线组织进行了接触。 美国精神健康和药物滥用部的专员特丽·怀特在法庭上说,解决这个州的危机将耗资170多亿美元。检察官表示,作为“主要原因”,强生应该支付这笔费用。 俄克拉荷马州最初起诉了普渡制药公司和梯瓦制药公司以及强生公司,但这两家公司最终以3.55亿美元和解。

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