U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson is held responsible for the opioid crisis regarding addictive painkillers that killed 47,600 people per year as of 2017 across the United States, according to new outlets including The Washington Post. Opioids are strongly addictive substances that are extracted from opium or compounded chemically. They are contained in morphine and fentanyl.
The Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma ruled Monday that Johnson & Johnson must pay 572 million U.S. dollars in damages to the Oklahoma state government for selling opioid painkillers and substances and causing the addiction crisis.
Since the late 1990s, purchasing opioids has been available with a prescription in the United States, later leading to serious addiction issues. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the addiction to opioids as one of the nationally serious healthcare crisis in October 2017, saying that the government would react to the issue at the equivalent level to that for contagious disease.
Since 1999, more than 400,000 lives have been killed due to addictive painkillers. The U.S. government spends 78.5 billion dollars per year on providing medical care and treatment to opioid addicts.