New York hits J&J with lawsuit over opioid marketing

New York 's department of financial services sued Johnson & Johnson Sept. 17, accusing the drugmaker of misrepresenting opioids in its marketing.

The drugmaker manufactures several opioid products in the state, most notably the fentanyl patch Duragesic and the Nucynta, its brand of tapentadol. It also manages a significant portion of the raw opioid supply chain, at one point controlling up to 80 percent of oxycodone raw materials' global supply.

The state alleged Johnson & Johnson fostered a dangerous market for opioids by targeting older patients through brochures and third-party publications while downplaying the risk involved with opioid treatment for that population, purported that opioid addiction is a myth, mischaracterized abuse data to minimize the perceived risk of addiction, and made other unsubstantiated claims.

"The opioid crisis has taken too many lives and New York State will continue to take action against those who helped fuel this public health catastrophe and bring a measure of justice to families who have lost loved ones," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. "Misrepresentation of opioids to consumers for profit is inexcusable and we will use every tool necessary to help ensure those responsible are held fully accountable."

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