Attorney General James Reaches $ 230 Million Settlement For Treatment And Prevention Of New York Opioid Crisis, Johnson & Johnson End Opioid Sales
NYS eligible to receive up to half of all funds within months if
Executive Chamber signs new legislation
An Act to Establish an Opioid Settlement Fund
AG James lawsuit against other opioid manufacturers and
Distributors begin this week as part of the set
Push to hold the opioid industry accountable
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced a deal with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) – the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – that will provide up to $ 230 million to the New York State, in the largest monetary settlement ever obtained by Attorney General James. The deal resolves claims by Attorney General James over the company’s role in helping the opioid epidemic and would spread the payments over nine years, with large payments made up front. The deal also requires J&J to make an additional $ 30 million in payments in the first year if New York State’s executive chamber enacts new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund and other criteria are met. If this legislation – which was passed unanimously by the state legislature – becomes law and all litigation subdivisions in New York City sign today’s settlement, New York would be eligible to receive more than half total payments of more than $ 130 million as of February 2022. Today’s agreement also enforces a ban preventing J&J and all of its subsidiaries, predecessors and successors from manufacturing or selling opioids anywhere in New York City , and recognizes Johnson & Johnson’s exit from the opioid industry nationwide.
“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc in countless communities across New York State and across the country, leaving millions of people still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” said Attorney General James. “Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they pledge to quit the opioid industry, not just in New York City, but across the country. Opioids will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States by J&J. We are also providing up to $ 230 million to fund opioid prevention, treatment and education efforts in New York State. While no amount of money will ever make up for the thousands of people who lost their lives or became addicted to opioids across our state or bring comfort to the countless families torn apart by this crisis, these funds will be used to prevent any future devastation. Our trial against the remaining defendants will begin next week, where we will lay bare the ruthless and deadly pattern of misconduct these companies have perpetrated while selling dangerous and addictive opioids in our state. As always, our goal remains to deliver funds to those devastated by opioids as quickly as possible. “
In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the country’s largest lawsuit to hold the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic accountable. 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 the trusts they control; Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries; 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.
Cases against Purdue Pharma (and subsequently the Sackler family), Mallinckrodt, and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now proceeding separately in the U.S. bankruptcy court. The trial against all other defendants is currently scheduled to begin next week.
The biggest monetary clawback of Attorney General James’ tenure
As part of today’s deal, J&J will pay New York State a total of $ 229,862,769.25, with payments being made over a nine-year period. The timing of these payments will depend on a number of circumstances, including the number of political subdivisions of the state that agree and choose to participate in today’s deal, as well as the signing by the executive chamber of the state of legislation – approved earlier this month – that creates an opioid. settlement funds. The bill to create the Opioid Settlement Fund is currently in the executive chamber and would ensure that payments to New York State under any opioid settlement or through litigation would be directed towards prevention, treatment, education and other forms of reduction, rather than general funds.
According to the most aggressive timeline, where this new legislation is enacted and all subdivisions agree to the terms of the settlement, the first three years of payments – totaling $ 134,330,271.65, more than half of the $ 230 million – will be accelerated. and paid as of February 2022.
Johnson & Johnson’s Ends Nationwide Opioid Sales
In addition to negotiating the largest monetary settlement since taking office, Attorney General James negotiated a substantial injunction securing the end of the manufacture of opioids by J&J and their distribution throughout New York and the rest of the country. J&J has made a commitment to cease the manufacture and sale of all opioids and opioid products intended for distribution in New York State, as well as to no longer ship these products to the United States. The company will also provide the attorney general’s office with details of the expiration date of the last stockpile of opioids it has already shipped.
In addition, J&J will be prohibited from promoting opioids or opioid products through sales representatives, sponsorship, financial support or any other means; will not be permitted to provide financial incentives to its sales and marketing employees for the sale of such products; and will not provide, directly or indirectly, financial or in-kind support to any third party who primarily engages in conduct that promotes opioids, opioid products or products for the treatment of opioid-induced side effects.
J&J will also be prohibited from disciplining its sales and marketing employees for failing to meet opioid sales quotas – one of the main motivations for J&J and other companies to market opioids so heavily to the public. American public – and will not be permitted to use, aid, or employ any third party to engage in any activity that J&J itself would be prohibited from performing under today’s agreement.
J&J will also be prohibited from lobbying federal, state or local laws or regulations regarding opioids or opioid products.
Finally, J&J will need to make additional information on opioids and opioid products more accessible to the public, including patients, healthcare providers and others. Part of how J&J will fulfill this provision is to share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access (YODA) project to allow qualified researchers under the program to ” access exclusive company data under the terms of the project.
Today’s deal would further resolve lawsuits against J&J by Nassau and Suffolk counties if the county legislatures approve it next month. In the meantime, Attorney General James plans to file a motion to remove J&J from the upcoming opioid trial in New York which is due to begin next week.
Today’s deal was negotiated in coordination with a broader global settlement that remains pending, but could potentially end litigation by thousands more entities, including all pending litigation by attorneys general. states across the country. While a comprehensive settlement is still under negotiation, if a settlement is reached before February 15, 2022, New York will join that settlement and the terms of today’s deal will be incorporated into that settlement.
Separately, but linked to his opioid work, in February Attorney General James co-led a coalition of nearly every attorney general in the country by issuing more than $ 573 million – of which more than $ 32 million was intended in New York State – towards opioid treatment and reduction under agreement and consent judgment with McKinsey & Company. The deal with one of the world’s largest consulting firms resolved investigations by attorneys general into the company’s role in its work for opioid companies, helping these companies promote their drugs and profit million dollars from the opioid epidemic.
Today’s settlement was negotiated in cooperation with a number of state attorneys general and their staff. At the New York Attorney General’s office, today’s settlement was led by Senior Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy, and was prompted by the work of Senior Advisor and Special Advisor Mr. Umair Khan; former opioid and impact litigation lawyer David Nachman; Deputy Attorney General Noah Popp; Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia; director of research and analysis Jonathan Werberg; senior enforcement counsel John Oleske; Assistant Attorneys General Monica Hanna, Connor Duffy, Carol Hunt, Diane Johnston, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Michael Reisman, Lois Saldana and Jennifer Simcovitch; project lawyers Wil Handley, Stephanie Torre and Eve Woodin; Paralegal Ketty Dautruche; Legal Assistant David Payne; Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury; IT specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny; Kristin Petrella, Electronic Discovery Document Review Specialist; and the head of the Investor Protection Bureau, Peter Pope.