In a shameful example of how the false narrative took hold and became conventional wisdom, the role of “experts” who were actually paid advocates stands out for its mendacity.
Paid “Expert” Witnesses Hid Serious Conflicts of Interests, Masquerading as Independent Advocates
Drs. Andrew Kolodny, Anna Lembke and Jane Ballantyne are frequently quoted in the media. They now acknowledge hiding critical conflicts of interest.
Dr. Kolodny alone was paid $500,000 as an expert witness in Oklahoma’s opioid litigation against Johnson & Johnson.
Clarification of Reporting of Potential Conflicts of Interest
“To the Editor I am writing to provide additional information to clarify conflict of interest disclosures in 2 articles I published in JAMA in 2017 and 2018. During this time, I received compensation for work as an expert in malpractice litigation involving opioid prescribing. When the articles were first published, I did not believe this work could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest. My view has since changed. In the spirit of full transparency, I am requesting a correction to my disclosure statements.”
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, September 2019
“An earlier version of this article gave an incomplete description of Dr. Anna Lembke’s role at a court session in Cleveland. Dr. Lembke was giving testimony as an expert witness in support of plaintiffs in the opioid cases; she was not speaking solely as an addiction specialist.”
“This story has been updated with information about Dr. Andrew Kolodny’s and Dr. Jane Ballantyne’s work in suits against Purdue and other opioid makers.”