Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has reached a settlement with pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, reaching a $290 million agreement. The state of Texas claims Johnson & Johnson used ‘deceptive marketing tactics’ which contributed to the nationwide opioid crisis, writes James Pollard for The Texas Tribune.
From 1999 to 2019, nearly half a million people in the United States died from opioid-related overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid deaths nationally increased by 30% last year, Paxton noted Tuesday.
In July, Paxton announced Texas joined the billion-dollar multistate opioid settlement against McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Conshohocken-based AmerisourceBergen, along with Johnson & Johnson.
The Texas Attorney General pointed out that the state expects to receive $1.2 billion from the three other companies, including the AmerisourceBergen Corporation, bringing the state’s total to $1.5 billion.
All of the four pharma companies have denied wrongdoing in this opioid case.
This week, Johnson & Johnson released a press release saying the settlement is not “an admission of any liability or wrongdoing” and added that its prescription opioid medications (which you can no longer get in the United States) accounted for less than 1% of total opioid prescriptions in the U.S.
“Johnson & Johnson is finally being held financially accountable,” but the state will continue pursuing legal action against drug companies that contributed to the opioid crisis, Paxton noted. “We’re not done going after these other companies,” he said. “There’s many more to come.”
Read more in The Texas Tribune about the $290 million opioid case settlement, including Conshohocken-based AmerisourceBergen Corporation and Johnson & Johnson.