Portland – The attorney general of the state of Washington, Bob Ferguson, filed a lawsuit against the multinational on Thursday Johnson & Johnson accusing her of playing a key role in the excessive use of opioids in the pharmaceutical industry and for participating in a “deceptive” marketing campaign.
“Opioids have destroyed the families of Washington, have overloaded our health care system and have caused an epidemic of addiction that we are struggling to contain“said Ferguson.
“Johnson & Johnson must take responsibility for the damage caused,” he added.
The lawsuit, filed in the King County Superior Court, states that Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest suppliers of raw materials used to produce opioid analgesics, deceptively marketed the long-term use of these substances in high doses, without evidence. documented of its effectiveness and ignoring the risks of such medications.
Ferguson also claimed that Johnson & Johnson, along with several of its subsidiaries, fueled the opioid epidemic in the state of Washington and across the country, embarking on a deceptive mass marketing campaign.
According to the prosecutor, the campaign convinced doctors and the public that their medications are effective in treating chronic pain and have a low risk of addiction.
In addition to using processed active ingredients to produce their own opioids, Johnson & Johnson sold these substances to other major manufacturers for use in their own medications. These companies are, among others, Purdue Pharma and Teva.
The ingredients were used to make oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, naloxone and other medications.
The 2016 Guide of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the prescription of opioids for chronic pain, determined that there is no study that demonstrates that opioids are effective for the treatment of long-term pain.
The CDC found “extensive evidence” that those who use opioids for more than three months have a substantially higher risk of disorder from the use of these pain relievers.
Today’s demand gives continuity in Ferguson’s work to combat the opioid epidemic in his state.
In 2017, the attorney general filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and in March 2019, another lawsuit against the largest distributors of prescription opioids in the state of Washington, whose trial is scheduled for October.
That public body estimates that about 218,000 people have died in the country in the last two decades due to the consumption of opium derivatives and their synthetic versions.
The addiction to medications such as fentanyl or oxycodone that are prescribed to soothe the pain has caused a public health crisis in the country, with more than 47,000 deaths in 2017.
So far people and institutions that claim that pharmaceutical companies helped manufacture a culture of dependence on those medications have filed more than 2,000 lawsuits in different U.S. courts. Against those companies.