Double Trouble for Drugmakers Down South

A judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay Oklahoma $572 million yesterday in a landmark ruling on the corporation’s role in the state’s opioid crisis, The New York Times reports.
 
Judge Thad Balkman lambasted the company for “false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns” that spurred exponential growth in addiction. J&J plans to appeal.
 
Balkman said the payout would cover a year of opioid-related services. That’s far short of the $17 billion the state requested for 2 decades of reparations—but it set a strong precedent for some 2,000 similar lawsuits churning through US courts. Stock prices of litigation-involved companies shot up after the ruling, Axios reports
 
Also yesterday: Purdue Pharma lost a 3.5-year legal battle in the Kentucky Supreme Court, STAT reports. In a major victory for the news site—which filed the motion in 2015—Purdue was ordered to unseal secret documents about its marketing of OxyContin.

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