Analysis

5 Key Details As Drugmakers Face $50B Opioid Trial In Calif.

By Jeff Overley, Cara Salvatore and Emily Field (April 16, 2021, 11:16 PM EDT) -- Barring last-minute settlements, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Pharmaceuticals and other major drugmakers are poised to go to trial Monday against some of California's largest counties, which are seeking $50 billion in one of the nation's oldest opioid-crisis cases.

The West Coast clash centers on now-familiar allegations that pharmaceutical manufacturers — divisions of J&J, Endo, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan PLC — to varying degrees bankrolled pernicious promotional campaigns for prescription painkillers, unleashing a devastating wave of drug dependence and death.

But the Golden State also gives drugmakers a golden opportunity to offer a little-explored defense — that the primary premise of opioid...

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