Opioid addiction has become an epidemic throughout the world. Millions of people abuse opioids that comes from a pharmaceutical company, JNJ Australia harvested opium. Even worse many lose their life due to their addiction to opiate drugs. Unfortunately, many people don’t know where the global opioid supply originates though. The JNJ Australia based company may play a bigger role than you think.
Opium poppy plants are grown throughout the world and are the main ingredient in many of the opiates that are used and abused on an international basis. For many years, Johnson & Johnson has been one of the major poppy seed cultivation companies. They cultivate opium poppies and sell them to big name drug companies to create narcotics. The narcotics are designed to be prescribed for pain management but are often abused as people become addicted to them. Addiction develops through misuse which can include taking the medications more frequently than they are intended to be taken or in larger doses than intended.
Even though Johnson & Johnson is commonly known for their healthcare product manufacturing, they have thousands of lawsuits being launched against them in the United States on a state and federal level. Critics claim that drug manufacturers distributed, highly addictive drugs to the public knowing that they could wreak havoc on society. Being able to prove these claims would be more difficult than many thought it would be though. Learn more about the claims against Johnson & Johnson about their direct role in the epidemic in the guide that follows.
Opium-Poppy Processing Business
In order to truly understand Johnson & Johnson’s role in the opioid epidemic, it’s important to know more about why they are in the opium-poppy processing business in the first place. Selling processed opium poppies has proven to be a very lucrative business for J&J and many other cultivators throughout the world. The company was able to become the leading manufacturer in poppy production, which led to them becoming the J&J opioid kingpin that they are today.
The large company could afford to invest a lot of money into the cultivation of massive amounts of poppies at one time. This allowed them to monopolize the industry because smaller companies could not keep up with the large quantities of poppies that they could cultivate and distribute.
Johnson & Johnson Subsidiaries
Over time, Johnson & Johnson realized that the strains of poppies that they offered wasn’t enough. Subsidiaries were created to allow new strains of poppies to be created and distributed throughout the world. Medications such as hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine all use poppy as one of their core elements.
Noramco and Tasmanian Alkaloids were subsidiaries of JNJ Australia that allowed a new strain of poppy to be created that didn’t contain morphine. Morphine has been used for centuries to make operations easier and to treat pain. The downside to the drug is that it is highly addictive and readily available. Being able to create a strain of poppies that don’t contain morphine was believed to be a very lucrative option to Johnson & Johnson because it would create a less addictive pain treatment option.
The Norman poppy was a strain that was created with no morphine and the raw materials produced contained a high level of thebaine that is commonly used as the base in many pain medications today. As the top narcotic supplier, J&J quickly took over the opioid API supply. API stands for active pharmaceutical ingredients. As one of the top API manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson had the responsibility to make sure that the products they provided to their suppliers were safe for public distributions. The attorneys representing the lawsuits against the company claim that they failed to do their due diligence to properly inform the public of the risks involved in taking substances made from the Norman poppy.
Johnson & Johnson has been accused of targeting those with addiction issues to better their sales. It’s believed that the company wanted to ensure that they could make the most profits possible by making a product that people would come back to again and again. J&J strongly disputes these claims, saying they wanted to create products that helped to treat pain and did not intentionally promote addiction.
Johnson & Johnson Australia
In order for Johnson & Johnson to be able to create the large amounts of poppies that it needed; it created an Australian poppy farm. The JNJ Australia Tasmania’s opium poppy was the Norman poppy that is commonly used in the creation of OxyContin. The J&J Opioid Kingpin processed opium poppies and used them to not only create their own medications but also distributed them to other drug manufacturers. Being able to cultivate poppies in Tasmania, Australia allowed the company to be held to different standards than they would if they were cultivating in America. Purdue manufactures OxyContin and has been blamed for much of the opioid epidemic that is taking place today.
In a recent lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson was found to be liable for decades of addiction to opioids throughout society. They were ordered to pay more than $500 million for their role in the epidemic. The money is to be distributed to those that have been affected by addiction, including those battling it on their own or families of those who have overdosed from opioid use.
Johnson & Johnson isn’t taking the lawsuit lightly. They have decided to appeal the judgment so that they could fight to prove their innocence. The company not only has money to lose but also their reputation to protect.
Attempts have been made in the past to hold other companies liable for similar acts in the past and have failed. It’s difficult to prove intentionality when it comes to addiction. Education is key when taking any drug and many people argue that it is important for people to be properly informed before they are prescribed any medication about its addictive nature. Johnson & Johnson readily supports this theory. It’s believed that the more publicity the addiction crisis gets, the more the likelihood that accountability will be put in place to ensure that future manufacturers have transparency in the products they create.