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Oral Cancer and Listerine Link Suppressed

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Oral Cancer Prevention International Inc., has filed a lawsuit in Trenton, New Jersey, against OraPharma Inc., a former unit of Johnson & Johnson, for interfering in a contract over distribution of an oral cancer test, Bloomberg reports.

According to the lawsuit, OraPharma agreed to distribute OCPI’s Oral CDx Brush Test, which can identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth. Soon after, a study published in Australia linked mouthwashes with a high alcohol content to cancer. Johnson & Johnson, according to claim in the suit, did not want to  “lend credence to the link between Listerine and oral cancer” by selling mouthwash like Listerine and OralCDx.

Bloomberg quotes from the lawsuit that, “Johnson & Johnson induced OraPharma to breach the sales agreement to suppress sales of and withhold from the public a proven life-saving oral cancer prevention product in order to protect the sales of its mouthwash, Listerine, which has been linked to oral cancer.”

In the lawsuit, OCPI alleges that J&J  “never had any intention of allowing OraPharma to sell OralCDx to those dentists most likely to adopt its use in their practices”…instead, it wanted to “control and suppress sales of OralCDx to those dentists who J&J considered most likely to recommend the use of Listerine mouthwash to their patients, thereby depriving the public of a known cancer prevention product and destroying OCPI’s dental business.”

The lawsuit alleges fraud, tortious interference with a contract and civil conspiracy and seeks $60 million in compensatory damages and $10 million for each account in punitive damages.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Oral Cancer and Listerine Link Suppressed was posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 3:08 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Product Liability Lawsuits, Uncategorized.

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