'He's Never Treated Chronic Pain Patients': Protesters At Opioid Trial On State's Expert Witness

Wednesday, June 12th 2019, 7:10 pm
By: Storme Jones

The state's trail against Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical manufacture entered into day 12 Wednesday afternoon. 

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Cleveland County Courthouse as arguments resumed. Protesters voiced concern with the state’s expert witness on the stand, Dr. Andrew Kolodny.

“The state’s expert witness is one of the most-cruel human beings. His attitude is so egregious,” Donna Hill said.  

“He’s never treated chronic pain patients,” Protester Tracy Kennedy said. “He’s treated people with addiction, but not with chronic pain. So, we are out here to let them know we don’t agree with that.”

In a statement to News 9, a spokesman for the state says, "his background speaks for itself."

Kolodny is a senior scientist at Brandeis University. According to the university’s website, Kolodny previously served as Chief Medical Officer for an addiction treatment agency. It lists his current position as Co-Director of opioid policy research at the university.

Many at the rally say they rely on opioids to cope with pain to perform daily functions.

Don’t control what we can do and what we can’t do, Elisha Grove said. “Understand that we have pain, some of us look like we don’t have pain, but we do.”

The state's attorneys have said they understand there are people who need these medications and this trial is not about them.

“We matter. We are chronic pain patients,” Kennedy said. “We have conditions that can’t be seen. But we need our opioids.”