WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after an Oklahoma judge ruled against Johnson & Johnson for its role in the opioid epidemic:
“This is a historic case – the first time a court has ruled that an opioid manufacturer is legally responsible for its role in misleading patients and providers and fueling the opioid epidemic. While we can never truly find a dollar amount that is commensurate with the loss of life and enormous pain caused by this crisis, the amount in this verdict doesn’t come close to covering the true societal and economic costs of this crisis over the years, even if it is just for one state. As communities across the country continue to grapple with this crisis, this ruling must be the first of many in holding pharmaceutical companies accountable.”
During a February Senate Finance Committee hearing on prescription drug costs, Senator Hassan confronted a top Janssen Pharmaceuticals executive for her company’s role in spreading misinformation about addiction that helped fuel the opioid crisis.
Combating the opioid epidemic and substance misuse has been a top priority for Senator Hassan, successfully working with her colleagues in the New Hampshire Congressional delegation to secure more than $50 million in additional federal funding for New Hampshire to support those on the front lines of this epidemic. The Senator also worked to secure critical priorities for New Hampshire in comprehensive, bipartisan opioid legislation that the President signed into law in 2018.