Johnson & Johnson

Calling it an "industrywide conspiracy," Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a lawsuit for the overprescription of opioids that he said has defrauded New Yorkers out of billions of dollars.


Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said they are no better than a corner drug dealer. He was referring to corporate opioid makers. Poloncarz sees the county's lawsuits against them benefitting from an Oklahoma judge's ruling this week that Johnson & Johnson intentionally played down the risks, oversold the benefits of the drugs and must pay $572 million.

Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the state's opioid crisis by deceptively marketing painkillers, and must pay $572 million to the state.

Oklahoma sought $17.5 billion, blaming Johnson & Johnson for fueling the crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the state.

Federal prosecutors late Tuesday charged British drugmaker Indivior with felony fraud and conspiracy for its marketing of opioid products including Suboxone. The company allegedly created a "nationwide scheme" in the U.S. designed to convince doctors and government insurance providers that Indivior's patented opioid medications are safer and less prone to abuse than cheaper generic alternatives.