Opioid Trial: State Argues Representatives Weren't Trained Correctly

Tuesday, July 2nd 2019, 2:08 pm
By: News On 6

A former Johnson & Johnson sales representative is defending the drug company by telling Oklahoma's attorneys she feels confident in the training she received to educate doctors about opioids.

Attorneys with the Attorney General's office disagree.

The state continually asked the sales rep if she was trained about opioid addiction and treatment.

Related Story - Expert Witness Questioned Under Fire In Oklahoma Opioid Trial

Drue Diesselhorst said she didn't remember that training, but said she was given "excellent" training by Johnson & Johnson to become an "expert" on the drugs she was selling and promoting.

The state's attorney asked how she knew the training was adequate if she couldn't remember any of it.

"I'm a busy mom," she said. "In my mind, when I resigned from my position and retired from my job with Janssen...I retired happily from Janssen and there was no need for me to try remembering any of my training, and I just don't."

"How many total hours of training in your career did you get from Janssen and Johnson & Johnson on how to diagnose, understand and treat pain with opioids?" State Attorney Brad Beckworth asked.

"I don't remember how many hours," Diesselhorst said.

Here's the full statement from Johnson & Johnson attorneys after today's testimony:

"The evidence presented at trial continues to demonstrate Janssen did everything a responsible manufacturer and seller of prescription opioid medicines should do, including thoroughly training its local sales representatives to provide accurate information on the risks and benefits of its products to physicians in their communities. As Mr. Flanary testified, Janssen believes its medicines, when prescribed appropriately by physicians, undeniably have important benefits for patients."