What We're Reading: J&J Ordered to Pay $572 Million; US Ends Immigrant Medical Policy; Mo. Abortion Ruling Near

August 27, 2019
AJMC Staff

Johnson & Johnson is ordered to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahoma's opioid epidemic; President Trump eliminates protection of sick immigrants to remain in the United States; a federal judge is expected to rule on the Missouri law banning abortion after 8 weeks today.

Judge Cites Opioid ‘Menace,’ Awards Oklahoma $572 Million in Landmark Case

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by an Oklahoma judge to pay $572 million in restitution for their role in the state’s opioid crisis, according to Kaiser Health News. Oklahoma had originally sued for $17 billion as they attributed responsibility to the drugmaker for deceptive marketing practices that resulted in the deaths of 6000 citizens. Judge Thad Balkman cited that “the opioid crisis is an imminent danger and menace to Oklahomans,” in delivering his decision Monday. Johnson & Johnson released a statement announcing their plans to appeal the decision.

Administration Ends Protection for Immigrant Medical Care

The Trump administration issued letters to families this month announcing their elimination of a protection for immigrants to remain in the country and avoid deportation while they or their relatives receive life-saving medical treatments. The Associated Press reports that the policy change became effective on August 7 and affects all pending requests, including from immigrants seeking a renewal of their 2-year authorization and first-time applicants. This move adds to the aggressive stance Trump has taken on immigrants as the administration wants to deny green cards to immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, and other types of public assistance.

Judge Expected to Rule Tuesday on Injunction of Abortion Law

A federal judge announced he will rule today on whether Missouri’s new abortion law banning abortions at or after 8 weeks of pregnancy will go into scheduled effect this week, reported by The Associated Press. US District Judge Howard Sachs will issue his decision after hearing arguments by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday. The law, which would additionally ban abortions based solely on race, sex, or a diagnosis, is scheduled to become effective Wednesday barring Sachs’ ruling.