Comment on verdict in Oklahoma by Gary Mendell
Expert witness, Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America, released the following statement on Oklahoma’s historic settlement with Johnson & Johnson that will dedicate $572 million to repairing the devastation caused by the crisis. This is the first state trial to hold a pharmaceutical company accountable for an epidemic that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
“Today’s monumental decision in Oklahoma is a critical step in setting a precedent for the largest public health crisis facing our country, bringing justice to the lives lost, and reversing the course of addiction crisis for future generations. It is imperative that as we move forward, we make it a priority to get people access to high-quality, evidence-based treatment just as people with other chronic diseases receive. Equally important is the need to invest in educating the public around substance use disorders in order to end the stigma and discrimination that surrounds it.”
About Gary Mendell:
Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. He founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. He is a frequent speaker on how our society can end the stigma unjustly associated with addiction, has been honored numerous times for his leadership related to reversing the course of the opioid epidemic, testified in front of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis and is a frequent commentator in the media. Mr. Mendell also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI). He is an experienced businessman and CEO who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America. Shatterproof is focused on ensuring treatment in America is based upon proven research on and ending the stigma of addiction. The organization advocates for changes to federal and state policy, payer reform, treatment quality assessment, and provides public education through family and workplace programs.