Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Sales Deal for Oral Cancer Product
According to Reuters, Johnson & Johnson is being sued by Oral Cancer Prevention International, claiming the drug manufacturer interfered with a sales agreement related to the distribution of an oral cancer prevention product to protect sales of its popular mouthwash, Listerine. The complaint accuses J&J on three counts: fraud, tortuous interference with contract and civil conspiracy. It seeks at least $60 million in damages and at least $10 million in punitive damages on each of the three counts. The lawsuit is regarding a contract Oral Cancer Prevention signed in February 2010 with J&J''s former unit, OraPharma Inc, under which OraPharma exclusively distributed OCPI''s Oral CDx Brush Test, which identifies precancerous cells in the mouth. The complaint said J&J was concerned about a study published in Australia that linked mouthwashes with a high alcohol content to cancer, adding that J&J did not want to lend credence to the link between Listerine and oral cancer by selling both its mouthwash and OralCDx. The suit was filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.