Johnson & Johnson "Kingpin" In Opioid Crisis, Doctor Says

Thursday, June 13th 2019, 7:25 pm
By: News On 6

Johnson & Johnson attorneys are now questioning the doctor and opioid researcher who accused the drugmaker of being a major cause of the state's opioid crisis.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny had very harsh words for Johnson & Johnson over the last two days, calling the company the "Kingpin" of the opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson attorneys disagree, saying Kolodny's testimony is "exaggerated" and "far-reaching."

Dr. Kolodny claimed the company has a high responsibility because they not only make their own opioid products, but they also supply opium to other pharmaceutical companies, like Purdue, which makes OxyContin.

Johnson & Johnson's attorney asked the doctor if he knew whether or not Johnson & Johnson made any products containing oxycodone.

Dr. Kolodny testified the company does not but said they're still involved in the making of those painkillers because they supplied the raw product inside.

"I believe Johnson & Johnson was a major cause of the opioid crisis," he said. "It was Johnson & Johnson's opium that flooded into the United States. I think it's fair to characterize Johnson & Johnson as a kingpin in the opioid crisis, because it was their opium that they were selling and that other drug dealers or pharmaceutical companies were selling."

Johnson & Johnson attorneys said the FDA backed opioids when some organizations petitioned the government to impose more regulations.

Dr. Kolodny said his organization, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, asked the FDA to cap prescriptions at 90 days, among other label changes.

Johnson & Johnson attorneys countered by showing the FDA's response, which said they disagreed and would not limit the amount time patients could take the drugs.

Dr. Kolodny said he's not trying to take away from patients with chronic pain, he just doesn't agree with the company's message that it's a disease that should be treated aggressively.

Johnson & Johnson's statement also said the company has done everything a "responsible company" should do.