The state filed civil charges at the end of last week, accusing the firm of downplaying risks.
Last week, the state of New York filed civil charges against Johnson & Johnson of opioid claim insurance fraud. It accused the company of downplaying the risks associated with these painkiller medications, including to patients who are elderly.
Governor Cuomo said the charges follow a probe conducted by the state regulator.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the opioid claim insurance fraud charges by the state’s Department of Financial Services result from that state regulator’s opioid industry probe. The charges against Johnson & Johnson weren’t the only ones to result from the probe. Others to face charges included Endo International Plc, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Mallinckrodt Plc., and Allergan Plc.
The lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson is seeking to recover $2 billion as a result of that company’s alleged role in the opioid epidemic. Millions of people across the United States are addicted to powerful prescription painkillers, hundreds of thousands of whom have died as a result.
The opioid claim insurance fraud charges resulted from the multimillion-dollar marketing strategy.
According to the lawsuit, accuses Johnson & Johnson of spending millions on a marketing strategy for these powerful painkillers, downplaying the risks associated with using them. The suit accused the company of continuing to promote these medications even after having received a warning from government officials that stated that these types of medications were more dangerous than other pharmaceutical products.
“The opioid crisis has taken too many lives and New York State will continue to take action against those who helped fuel this public health catastrophe and bring a measure of justice to families who have lost loved ones,” said Cuomo in a statement released by his office. “Misrepresentation of opioids to consumers for profit is inexcusable and we will use every tool necessary to help ensure those responsible are held fully accountable.”
By the writing of this article, Johnson & Johnson had not responded to a request for comment.
This is not the first time the pharmaceutical giant has faced opioid claim insurance fraud charges. Other states have laid on a substantial amount of litigation regarding opioid abuse as well. The company was required to pay almost $500 million in 2019 when an Oklahoma judge ruled that it had fueled the opioid crisis in the state.