New Hampshire announced that it agreed to a $40.5 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson for the company’s opioid marketing in the state. The state’s attorney general’s office chose not to join the opioid settlement back in February in which J&J and three other massive drug wholesalers pitched in to pay $26 billion in lawsuits for fueling the opioid crisis. Of that $26 billion, Johnson & Johnson contributed $5 billion.
Johnson & Johnson To Pay $40.5 Million for Opioid Marketing in New Hampshire
On September 1, 2022, Johnson & Johnson declared that it entered a settlement agreement with New Hampshire to resolve the state’s opioid-related claims against the company. New Hampshire filed a lawsuit against J&J and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2018 for the company’s part in worsening the state’s opioid problems. The lawsuit alleged that J&J heavily marketed opioids to doctors and patients while downplaying the addictiveness of the drugs and preying on vulnerable demographics like the elderly. After legal fees, New Hampshire will use $31.5 million of the settlement to fund opioid treatment and prevention.
The money will enter a state-run trust fund with a board of commissioners to recommend the allocation and spending of the money. Deputy Attorney General James Boffetti stated that the settlement will go towards transportation services to clinics, medication-assisted programs for those in prison, and a broad range of services to assist those with opioid-use disorder. Any New Hampshire town, city, or agency can apply for a grant.
In its announcement, Johnson & Johnson asserted that this settlement agreement is not an admission of guilt or responsibility for New Hampshire’s opioid issues. J&J claimed it will continue to defend itself against future litigation.
Johnson & Johnson Faces More Opioid Litigation
This $40.5 settlement with New Hampshire resolves the upcoming trial that was originally scheduled for September 12, 2022. Since New Hampshire did not participate in the $26 billion opioid settlement, Johnson & Johnson expects to reclaim $1.5 million from the nationwide fund. However, Washington state has a pending opioid lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson that would have gone to court this month, but the trial has been indefinitely postponed.