As part of a $230 million settlement with the state of New York, United States pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson will no longer make or sell opioid drugs.
This comes amid an opioid epidemic in the US, and as per the New York attorney general Letitia James, the agreement with New York will allow the pharmaceutical firm to resolve claims over it exacerbating the crisis.
James said, "The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities across New York state and the rest of the nation...Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they're committing to leaving the opioid business – not only in New York, but across the entire country."
However, the firm has said that the settlement "is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company", adding that other legal proceedings are underway, including one in California, across the nation, AFP reported.
The US opioid epidemic has taken over half a million lives since 1999.
Further, J&J has stated that the settlement allows it to avoid a hearing that was scheduled to commence on Monday, 28 June, AFP reported.
J&J has reportedly been asked to cover the payments over a period of nine years, as well as disburse as additions $30 million in the first year in case of a new opioid settlement fund legislation.
The amount of $230 million will be utilised for efforts working towards prevention, treatment, and education of dangers associated with drugs in New York state.
Besides J&J, Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical firms have been accused of persuading medical professionals to overprescribe opioids, despite knowing that they are highly addictive and encourage dependence.