Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced another pharmaceutical giant will pay millions for their role in the opioid epidemic.  A lump sum payment of $123.34 million was received by the State from Johnson & Johnson.  The payment avoids a trial stemming from a 2020 lawsuit filed by Ferguson against the company.


Of the $123.34 million coming in to the State, half will go to the State Legislature and the other half will go to local counties and municipalities.  Those receiving funds at the local level must use the money with regard to the opioid and fentanyl epidemic.

Johnson & Johnson will also cover Washington State's court cost of $26.16 million, bringing the total payment to the State to just under $150 million.

What Did They Do?

Ferguson argued Johnson & Johnson wasn't completely forthcoming regarding the impact of the opioids they were producing:

Johnson & Johnson’s aggressive marketing of opioids systematically overstated the effectiveness of the drugs for treating pain long term and understated the risk of addiction.


The accusations against the pharmaceutical giant went further:

Johnson & Johnson marketed its opioid drugs for chronic pain conditions like headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, despite evidence that opioids were not effective at treating these conditions.

This latest settlement brings the total amount of money awarded to the State from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors to $1.29 billion.

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As cities and counties look to spend their allotment on programs and projects geared towards the opioid and fentanyl epidemic, they must also abide by the Washington State Opioid Response Plan.

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Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell

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