Johnson & Johnson exec on Oklahoma opioid ruling: Facts don't support state's case

An Oklahoma judge last month held Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling the state's opioid crisis and ordered the drugmaker to pay $572 million in a settlement. But its Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk on Thursday said it feels "very good" about appealing the judgment.

“Unfortunately, Maria, the facts don’t align with the judge’s conclusion. Johnson and Johnson did not cause this opioid crisis,” he said during an interview on FOX Business’ "Mornings with Maria."

"If you think about what the state had the opportunity to present over four weeks of presenting their case, they were unable to find a victim that was impacted by a Johnson & Johnson product," Wolk continued. "They were unable to bring a physician who said they were misled by Johnson & Johnson sales materials or a sales representative. So we feel very good about our grounds for appeal here and we will continue to fight this."

Wolk also discussed the upcoming lawsuit brought by a federal judge in Ohio set to begin in October.

“We keep coming back to the facts, Maria,” he said. “Again, less than 1% market share, not just for Oklahoma but for across the country related to Johnson and Johnson Products. We acted responsibly. Our drugs were a transdermal patch and a non-crushable tablet and again had the lowest rates of abuse within this category.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 147.93 +2.19 +1.50%

Wolk noted that we shouldn’t “make light of pain relief in America” and added that pain management is “critical” for millions of Americans.

“We've got to make sure we don't throw out good products that unfortunately have an adverse effect to a small number,” he said.

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced $1.8 billion in funding to states to expand access to treatment and prevent further misuse, overdose, and opioid related deaths.