Ripple effect from Oklahoma opioid judgment deeply felt

The fallout from the landmark judgment in Oklahoma this week holding drug companies liable for the scourge of addiction to opioid-based painkillers continues.

That Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was fined only $572 million (€515 million) – well short of the $17.5 billion sought in the action – could be a pyrrhic victory for the industry.

The court has decided that the drug companies were quick and loose in their marketing, pressuring doctors to overprescribe the highly addictive painkillers to patients. Opioid addiciton is considered to be one of the biggest and most intractable problems facing the US healthcare system and has been a consistent focus of attention for US president Donald Trump.

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