Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has settled an opioid lawsuit with the state of New York for $230 million days before the company was set to be put on trial.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced the settlement on Saturday, saying the payments would be given over a nine-year period.
The payment plan depends on multiple factors, including if new legislation is signed into law creating an opioid settlement fund.
Along with the cash settlement, J&J also must leave the opioid business across the country and no longer manufacture or sell opioids in New York, James said.
“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,” James said in the announcement of the settlement. “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.”
The $2 billion lawsuit began in September 2020 when New York sued J&J for allegedly committing insurance fraud by promoting addictive painkillers.
J&J said in a press release that the settlement covers attorney fees and cost as well as funding for opioid-related issues while noting, “The settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the Company.”
“Janssen developed two prescription opioid medicines – a patch and a crush-resistant tablet – designed to help patients suffering from pain. DURAGESIC®, NUCYNTA®, and NUCYNTA® ER have accounted for less than one percent of total opioid prescriptions in the U.S. since launch,” the company stated.
As part of the agreement, the New York attorney general will be taking J&J off the opioid trial set to begin next week and will resolve lawsuits from New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties if their legislatures approve the agreement in July.