What We’ve Learned From Johnson and Johnson’s Opioid Trial So Far

In Oklahoma, a battle is being waged between state attorneys and the pharmaceutical giant.  State attorneys state in their lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson has played a large role in the opioid epidemic in the state, accusing sales representatives of deceptively promoting opioids to doctors. Johnson & Johnson Trial Heats Up The state says that  company representatives made 140,000 sales calls to Oklahoma doctors over a period of years, among other aggressive marketing tactics. This allegedly led to overprescription, addiction, and ultimately death for those unfortunate enough to overdose. Brad Beckworth, a lawyer for the state, went to the stand last week to ask Kimberly Deem-Eshleman, the company's corporate representative, about those calls and other tactics used by sales reps. Last Week, Dr. Russell Portenoy, a leading pain expert testified that Johnson & Johnson understated the risk of abusing opioids or the risl of addiction. In a taped testimony, the doctor stated that Big Pharma “overstated the benefits of chronic-opioid therapy’’ and “understated the risk of abuse, addiction and…

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