On April 11, 2012, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson got some really bad news: A judge in Arkansas fined the drug makers $1.2 billion, after a jury agreed that the company had dramatically and dangerously undersold the potential risks of the drug. The judge said that the drug maker committed 240,000 violations of Arkansas’ Medicaid fraud law. That is not a typo – 240,000 total violations, each of which came with a $5,000 fine. The court also found the company guilt of deceptive marketing practices – 4,500 counts of that charge.
Later in 2012, Johnson & Johnson accepted a deal to pay $181 million to 36 states, per allegations that the drug maker had marketed Risperdal for uses that were entirely inappropriate, such as managing anger and anxiety.
And of course, as this book mentioned earlier, in 2013, J&J settled for $1.2 billion for the company’s role in marketing unnecessary and dangerous medications to mentally disabled people, children, and the elderly.
Here is another case: a very sad situation. In March 2006, a young male patient, Jordan Howard, was admitted to Ellis Hospital after exhibiting symptoms of bipolar mania. The hospital prescribed Risperdal for him. Howard had been on the drug since 2004, but his physician increased his dosage to 8 milligrams a day and maintained that dose for several months until June. “The doctor ceased prescribing Risperdal, after diagnosing Howard with gynecomastia, or enlargement of the breast, which [he] concluded would have to be treated with plastic surgery.
The plaintiff then sued the doctor and the hospital for malpractice “in connection with increased dosage of Risperdal prescribed … which plaintiff claims caused Howard’s gynecomastia.”
In 2010, plaintiffs in New Jersey sued Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceutical products. Their mass tort was dismissed. Per the court’s memorandum of opinion: “plaintiff alleges that Risperdal caused injuries, including diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, and gynecomastia. Plaintiff further alleges that these injuries could have been avoided, if defendants had provided adequate information explaining the risks of Risperdal.”
The court dismissed this case without prejudice because, for technical reasons, it decided that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction. In other words, the court was not looking at the legal and medical facts.
For insight into your Risperdal case, call the Davis & Crump team now at 800-277-0300.
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How Johnson & Johnson’s Antipsychotic Sparked a Mini-Epidemic of Gynecomastia,” enter your name and email below.