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The New York Attorney General announced an agreement with Johnson & Johnson – the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – that will deliver up to $230 million to New York state.

In March 2019, the New York Attorney General filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic. In addition to J&J, the manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates.

The distributors named in the complaint were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.

The agreement resolves claims made by for the company’s role in helping to fuel the opioid epidemic and would allocate payments over nine years, with substantial payments made upfront.

The agreement also makes enforceable a bar stopping J&J and all of its subsidiaries, predecessors, and successors from manufacturing or selling opioids anywhere in New York, and acknowledges Johnson & Johnson’s exit from the opioid business nationally.

The cases against Purdue Pharma (and subsequently the Sackler family), Mallinckrodt, and Rochester Drug Cooperative are all now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The trial against all other defendants is currently slated to begin this coming week.

The Attorney General negotiated substantial injunctive relief securing the end of J&J’s manufacturing of opioids and their distribution across New York and the rest of the nation.  

The company will also provide the Office of the Attorney General with details of when the last of the inventory of opioids it has already shipped expires.

Additionally, J&J will be prohibited from promoting opioids or opioid products through sales representatives, sponsorships, financial support, or any other means; will not be allowed to provide financial incentives to its sales and marketing employees for the sale of these products; and will not, directly or indirectly, provide financial support or in-kind support to any third party that primarily engages in conduct that promotes opioids, opioid products, or products for the treatment of opioid-induced side effects.

J&J will additionally be forbidden from disciplining its sales and marketing employees for not hitting opioids sales quotas – one of the key motivators J&J and other companies had in marketing opioids so heavily to the American public – and will not be allowed to use, assist, or employ any third party to engage in any activity that J&J itself would be prohibited from engaging in pursuant to today’s agreement.

J&J will also be prohibited from lobbying federal, state, or local legislative or regulatory authorities about opioids or opioid products.

Finally, J&J will have to make additional information about opioids and opioid products more accessible to the public, including to patients, health care providers, and others. Part of how J&J will fulfill this provision is by sharing clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access (YODA) Project to allow researchers qualified under the program to access the company’s propriety data under the terms of the project.