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Risperdal Lawsuit Ends in $1B Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

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Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a $1.2 billion verdict by an Arkansas judge, after a jury found the company guilty of hiding or minimizing the health risks associated with their antipsychotic Risperdal

Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox decided on a fine of $1.19 billion for 240,000 violations of Arkansas Medicaid fraud laws. The company was also fined $11 million for deceptive practices.

The decision is the latest in a string of losses for Johnson & Johnson as a result of lawsuits brought by various states over the drug maker’s illegal marketing of Risperdal for off-label uses and failure to adequately disclose the side effects Risperdal.

In January, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay the Department of Justice (DOJ) more than $1 billion to settle federal claims of illegal marketing. Off-label marketing occurs when a drug company promotes the use of its drug for purposes other than those approved by the FDA, and is illegal. Doctors can prescribe a drug for any purpose they see fit, but companies cannot promote them for unapproved uses.

The DOJ has been investigating Johnson & Johnson’s marketing of Risperdal since 2004, when it began looking into an alleged kickback scheme between the drug maker and Omnicare, the nation’s largest provider of drugs to nursing homes. In 2009, Omnicare reached a settlement with DOJ over kickback charges. The DOJ investigators indicated that Johnson & Johnson paid Omnicare millions to push off-label use of Risperdal to nursing home doctors and hid the kickbacks as data fees, education fees and payments to attend Omnicare meetings. In January 2010, the DOJ filed a civil False Claims Act complaint against J&J.

Risperdal is frequently used as a “chemical restraint” in nursing homes, used to subdue unruly residents. However, studies have shown that the drug increases the risk of death in patients with dementia, and there have been nationwide efforts to curb its use for such off-label purposes.

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3 comments

  1. Daniel Reply

    Risperdal reproached.
    Same saga here as Eli Lilly Zyprexa.
    Johnson and Johnson is a trusted brand we associate with babies.
    Risperdal,Zyprexa,as well as the other atypical antipsychotics, are being prescribed for children, even though this is an unapproved, off-label use. An estimated 2.5 million children are now taking atypical antipsychotics. Over half are being given them for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,many of these foster children.
    Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for (life-long) diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
    Eli Lilly made $65 BILLION on Zyprexa!

  2. angela Reply

    Agree 110%with Daniel. My grandson is 9 years old, has been prescribed multiple pysch meds, the pyschiatrist don’t want anyone questioning them. My grandson has been repeatedly hospitalized since November with Pancreititis, including NOW. And no one wants to say it has anything to do with these meds.
    I am in the process of completing research

  3. Nereida Reply

    I do have a new pituitary gland tumour after 7 months of Risperdal, while I was nursing my baby with breast milk. It was said to me by the Doc that the drug was harmless for the baby, because it was a very little amount that will pass out by the breast milk.
    Now I have a Pituitary Gland tumour, and and issue in the pancreas that I could not do yet the magnetic resonance of the pancreas, to see what is the mass that has been found in the ecography.
    Please, help me with this I opened a facebook webpage, Afectados en Venezuela por Risperdal, also a twitter account @afctdxrisperdal, please press the “I like it” in the facebook web page and share it with all the people you can, to help me. Also follow my twitter address, and share it around the world. I beg you. I need to fight this against Johnson & Johnson from Venezuela, it is not the same as to be in USA. I have 37, I have Bipolar disorder, it was prescribed t me because of that, I am a single mom, with a daughter of 4 years and another of 2. I NEED YOUR HELP to share my webpage and twitter all around the wolrd. Thanks

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