Response from Creighton Drury, CEO of Center on Addiction, on Oklahoma Settlement Ruling

On August 26, Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Oklahoma, ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million in damages to the state for its role in the opioid crisis in Oklahoma. The decision comes on the heels of two other pharmaceutical companies, Purdue Pharma and Teva, settling with the state for $270 million and $85 million, respectively.

“The opioid crisis has wreaked havoc on families and communities throughout Oklahoma and across the country. While no sum of money can bring back loved ones lost to opioid use, the settlement dollars in the Oklahoma case, along with any future settlement funds from the consolidated litigation in Ohio, can help address the immediate epidemic, as well as build the infrastructure for a true public health response to addiction going forward,” said Creighton Drury, CEO of Center on Addiction. “At a time when the opioid epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in our country, we need to ensure that settlement funds are put toward transforming the way we handle addiction in this country so that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again.”

Center on Addiction and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids joined with Legal Action Center and Public Health Management Corporation – collectively known as the Addiction Solutions Campaign – to publish Opioid Settlement Priorities, a set of evidence-based recommendations on how settlement dollars should be spent to fund systemic change to reverse course on the way addiction is managed in the United States.

About Center on Addiction and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Center on Addiction merged with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in January 2019 and is the nation’s leading science-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how the nation addresses addiction. We empower families to support loved ones, advance effective addiction care and shape public policies that prevent and treat addiction as a public health issue. Center on Addiction is the only national organization committed to supporting the whole family as they address every aspect of substance use and addiction, from prevention to recovery. For more information, visit centeronaddiction.org

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