Earlier this month, a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary agreed to pay $5.9 million to resolve a suit alleging that the drug company heavily marketed Risperdal, the antipsychotic drug, as safe, despite knowing about the serious risks, including diabetes. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to the settlement without admitting any wrongdoing, as part of a deal that prevents it from misleading consumers about its drugs in the future.
Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia, as well as certain symptoms of bipolar disorder and autism. This drug has been involved in a number of lawsuits. In 2012, J&J settled a lawsuit claiming that Risperdal, brand name of the drug risperidone, caused hundreds of male patients to grow enlarged breasts and another suit claiming that it had promoted risperidone for non-approved uses including dementia, anger management and anxiety. In 2013, J&J settled out of court for $2.2 billion for allegations that they encouraged the overmedication of children, elderly and mentally disabled people.
In November, J&J admitted to criminal misconduct and paid billions to resolve the allegations that it showered doctors who prescribed their drugs with kickbacks and illegally promoted off-label uses of three separate drugs, including Risperdal. In that settlement, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of misbranding for improperly encouraging doctors to prescribe Risperdal for dementia, even though it was approved only for treatment of schizophrenia.
According to the case, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. concealed the risk for Risperdal gynecomastia and other side effects stemming from its use, and overstated its benefits. According to Montana officials, company research determined the drug’s potential to cause weight gain, diabetes and cerebrovascular complications in elderly patients.
The settlement funds Montana is now set to receive will be divided among courts, hospitals and the state’s newly formed awareness groups. Approximately $1.5 million of the settlement funds will go toward a new program in the state to prevent prescription drug abuse, while another $1.5 million will go toward funding mental health services and programs in Montana, according to the statement.
The settlement is not only significant in the amount of money Montana will receive, but also in that it protects citizens from being prescribed Risperdal based on the false statements Janssen previously made to health care providers.
If you or a loved one experienced Risperdal gynecomastia or Risperdal related diabetes or other complications after taking Risperdal, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).