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September 17, 2012 / Jordan Parkhurst

Johnson & Johnson Settles Improper Marketing Suit

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) settled a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of several states, which accused its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), of improperly marketing the antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone). The company agreed to pay out $181 million to 36 states (excluding California) and the District of Columbia and refrain from promoting the drug for unapproved uses, but avoided admitting guilt or paying fines.

The lawsuit focused on Janssen’s alleged promotion of risperidone for “off-label” uses: uses not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA originally approved risperidone in 1993, primarily for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, and in 2007 extended the use of risperidone for schizophrenia and manic episodes in adolescents. The lawsuit charged that, in addition to these approved uses, Janssen marketed the drug for a broader range of uses, including bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, dementia, depression, and anxiety  The lawsuit also charged that Janssen concealed risks associated with risperidone and encouraged doctors to use risperdone for uses not approved by the FDA.

In addition to this settlement, judges in Arkansas and South Carolina ordered J&J to pay $1.527 billion in fines and penalties, jurors in Louisiana ordered J&J to pay $258 million and J&J settled a trial in Texas for $158 million, all relating to alleged deceptive marketing of risperidone. J&J is appealing the verdicts.

If you feel you have been misled by pharmaceutical companies, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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