Updated: May 29, 2019 / 6:06 a.m.
On Wednesday, a father of a university football player who died of a drug overdose provided his emotional testimony about the personal cost of the nationwide opioid epidemic during the second day of a trial in a lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma, that of which is accusing the drugmaker giant Johnson & Johnson of fueling the crisis.
Craig Box, who is an Oklahoma attorney, testified in court that he never suspected his son, Austin, was abusing the use of prescription painkillers until he was later discovered unconscious at a friend’s house back in 2011 and then rushed to the hospital soon after.
“We had no idea about the prevalence of these drugs and the dangers of these drugs,” he said during testimony that was streamed online by Courtroom View Network.
Hunter claims that the deceptive marketing campaigns that were carried out by J&J, along with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, led to an “oversupply” of addictive painkillers in the state of Oklahoma.
J&J has denied any wrongdoing for what has happened, arguing that its marketing efforts were proper and that the state cannot prove that their campaigns were involved with the opioid epidemic given the roles that patients, doctors, pharmacists, and drug dealers played in it.
The state alleges that J&J’s actions have created the oversupply of painkillers and a public nuisance that will cost a whopping $12.7 billion to $17.5 billion to mend over the next 20 to 30 years to come.