Shares of Johnson and Johnson rose about 3 percent Friday after an Oklahoma judge reduced the amount of fines the company must pay in the state’s opioid lawsuit from $572 million to $465 million. Oklahoma Judge Thad Balkman initially fined the company $572 million in late August, ruling that a johnson and johnson subsidiary “caused an opioid crisis, as evidenced by the rising incidence of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal withdrawal syndrome.”
The court said its subsidiary, Jason Pharmaceuticals, repeatedly downplayed the risks of its drugs and trained sales representatives to tell doctors that the risk of addiction was 2.6 percent or less, tricking doctors into prescribing too many opioids, causing public harm.
Johnson and Johnson also appealed the ruling, and Oklahoma lacked an appropriate legal basis for the company’s “public nuisance” lawsuit.
Johnson and Johnson and other pharmaceutical companies face thousands of lawsuits over the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Shares in drugmakers Mallinckrodt, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Endo International rose 4 percent, 7 percent and more than 9 percent, respectively, after the latest ruling.
Johnson and Johnson shares closed at $134.94, up 3 percent from Friday’s opening bell.