Anti-Opioid “Expert” Paid $$$’s for Testimony

J&J’s lawyers note opioids researcher being paid hundreds of thousands for testimony in Oklahoma trial By John Sammon – June 18, 2019

I just can’t resist posting more of the news coming from the trial that Kolodny is starring in.

Attorneys defending Johnson & Johnson on Monday fended off accusations their client caused an addiction crisis and shifted attention onto Purdue Pharma, while also noting a plaintiffs expert is being paid upward of $500,000 for his testimony.

He’s quite the hypocrite, accusing pain patient groups of being mere “fronts” for the pharmaceutical opioid sellers from which they accept donations. I’m delighted to see his testimony dismissed as the unhinged anti-opioid zealotry it really is. 

This came during the beginning of the fourth week of trial in Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s lawsuit against makers and distributors of opioids. Michael Yoder, the attorney for Johnson & Johnson, asked Dr. Andrew Kolodny if he thought the J&J opioid pill Nucynta helped cause the opioid crisis.

According to charts exhibited in the trial, the rate of overdose deaths from opioids peaked between the years 2008 to 2014.

Kolodny, considered a leading advocate for reform in the prescribing of opioid drugs, testified last week before attorneys for both sides and again on Monday.

Being “considered a leading advocate” has nothing to do with factual testimony and brands him as a fiercely opinionated, fact-free fanatic.

Yoder asked Kolodny about his writings in 2015 in an article about the sharp rise in the prescription opioid crisis, in which he said the crisis was brought about by a “multi-faceted” advertising campaign. Yoder said no mention was made in the article about Johnson & Johnson’s opioid timed-release fentanyl patch Duragesic.

“I was not aware (yet) of Johnson & Johnson’s wrongdoing,” he said.

This sounds like he thinks he’s starring in a made-for-TV courtroom drama.

He said what helped fuel the drug crisis in Oklahoma was an “unbranded” advertising campaign (no specific brand mentioned) to pave the way for greater sales and prescriptions of opioids.

Yoder exhibited payments from Janssen for key opinion leaders (KOL’s) including doctors to serve as speakers and advisors on drugs like Nucynta at the time the drug was launched. Some of the payments ranged from approximately $2,000 to $35,000 for a year.

Yoder compared it to what he said was Kolodny’s high rate of pay as an expert for the state.

“The state (Oklahoma) paid you over $500,000?” he asked. “My established range was $300,000 to $500,000,” Kolodny said.

“It’s correct that it’s more than these individuals (KOL’s).

Yoder took issue with Kolodny’s reference to Johnson & Johnson as a drug “kingpin,” saying he had used the term in a tweet. Kolodny said state attorneys had first used the term.

Do you believe that it’s (J&J) a kingpin of illicit drugs, is that your testimony?” Yoder asked.

“That’s what I believe a kingpin is,” Kolodny answered.

Right there, he’s spouting nonsense: a pharmaceutical company, by definition, doesn’t sell “illicit drugs” and the word “kingpin” isn’t a factual term that can be used in a trial. It’s a pejorative word he’s carelessly slapped on all makers of legal opioid medications.

I think they’re setting him up, provoking him to state progressively more unfounded beliefs that they will then meticulously pick apart and prove wrong. He’s so full of himself he doesn’t see the trap he’s walking into.

I can’t wait to hear his fundamentalist anti-opioid nonsense torn apart and finally discarded.

7 thoughts on “Anti-Opioid “Expert” Paid $$$’s for Testimony

  1. leejcaroll

    Oh I hope youre right. The fee is appalling. I know experts get paid a lot but 6 figures is certainly more like being paid to state what they want him to state (and instead seems to be proving he is a fool)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. brucespoint

      I have bunches of alerts set up on Google, but not THAT one.
      My Head eXplodes every reminder of that bastidge I get!
      Really want the true skinny on how he landed this Crusade to lead?
      WTF does he have about cessation/control of Pain, much less the poor, mostly tossed off as used up Workers???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zyp Czyk Post author

        His interest is partly financial – he’s invested in buprenorphine, so he sees us all as addicts in need of MAT (medication assisted treatment) with his drug, which is used to prevent opioid withdrawals.

        But I suspect it’s more about the role he’s playing as the go-to expert for all the media. I think he’s convinced he’s a heroic “savior” come to rescue us from the “opioid crisis”, a “crisis” he cleverly fabricated by adding all the opioid deaths of recreational and addicted users to the relatively rare prescription opioid overdose. (And counting each of the drugs found in the body as another overdose:

        He must have colluded with the CDC to have them agree to combine the count of all opioid overdoses, both legal and illicit, including heroin, into one giant number of fatal overdoses that still continues to soar, now fed by hard to avoid, super potent fentanyl.

        It seems almost criminally misleading to let the public think it was opioids prescribed to pain patients that were causing the overdoses. The misunderstanding was clear, yet neither the FDA nor the CDC sought to correct this public misperception (and still doesn’t). I really don’t understand how PROP and the CDC got away with what they did – and I don’t believe for one minute that this outcome was unexpected or unintended:


  2. brucespoint

    Thank you for your work, you’re a glutton for punishment, but responding perfectly to this Outrage all CP pts are being subjected to. I had to quit doing so, as it was killing me faster than the 2/3rds of old dosage I Fought to get back to was, as my world grew ever smaller.
    What’s going on in the Stars/whatever cosmos you put faith into???
    Things are Finally cracking wide open, on in your face insults to the body politic.
    Mebbe even for us who’ve survived this phony inquisition!
    My heart bleeds every time I go on Facebook, a godsend for folk like us to share our horror stories, and keep the Will to Live, going when life is Torture. CP Suicides now outnumber Brain Cancer deaths in my friends list, & Birthdays Suck.
    Never minding the insurance adjusters FB was/is likely selling or trading access to.
    Something that will hopefully be subjected to Sunlight, like all the other rottens sticking their Proud heads up lately.
    You GO Gurl!
    Thank you for taking the bullet of constant exposure, you’re a better human than I.
    Ps, now getting the “ insertion notices in Firefox on blogs I have followed for multiple decades, it’s likely living in my browser, mebbe data corruption from my 40gigs of Archives I have for this account on gmail, one of 5 I’m responsible for, all archives file by taggs set up, going back to 1st gmail, then archives from Netscape daze going back to 93, on CP, and from 96, on Traumatic Brain Injury, my line of work I took after 4 terrible years pre Pain Management, & better living through Chemistry, or die by your own hand, allowed me to return to the workforce, & do a Truly needed job, for folks in worse straits and state than moi.
    It Saved Me. Taking care of 38 souls, of whom 36, had not lucked out, in accidents & situations, similar to those I’d had in an Adrenaline seeking life, & dodged That particular bullet.
    Keep up the Excellent Work, & take Care of yourself too!
    Better for having read You, b.

    Liked by 1 person


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