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Unlawful Risperdal Marketing Practices

UPDATED: November 4, 2013

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Drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson continues to face legal trouble over allegations that the company improperly marketed its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.  As the Risperdal side effects become apparent, the FDA and several state agencies have taken legal action against the company for unlawfully marketing the drug. 

Allegations of Unlawful Marketing of Risperdal

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires drug manufacturers to provide doctors and patients with the potential side effects and risks of taking the drug.  Additionally, a drug manufacturer cannot promote use of the drug unless it is approved by the FDA.  Johnson & Johnson has been accused of violating both rules by failing to disclose the side effects of Risperdal and by promoting the drug be used before the FDA approved of it 

According to recent judgments against Johnson & Johnson, the company allegedly misled Risperdal consumers by:

  • Failing to publish or report studies that found negative side effects associated with Risperdal
  • Paid medical writers and scientists to produce favorable studies or to attach their name to reports written by Johnson & Johnson that downplayed Risperdal side effects.
  • Failed to provide accurate reports to the FDA about the adverse effects of Risperdal
  • Awarded grants to doctors for promoting and prescribing Risperdal
  • Marketed use of Risperdal beyond what was approved by the FDA.  Specifically, the company promoted use of the drug for bi-polar disorder before the FDA approved.
  • Provided health care professionals with misleading information to downplay the risks that the FDA required be added to Risperdal warning label.

The offenses committed by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries created a pattern of false marketing to promote use of Risperdal and downplay its side effects.  By use of clinical studies, scientific publications, letters to physicians, advertisements to consumers, and grants to prescribing doctors, Johnson & Johnson violated regulations and left doctors and consumers unaware of the risks of Risperdal use.

Recent Risperdal Judgments Against Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has paid significant fines and judgments to states across the country for unlawful marketing and promotion of Risperdal:

  • In April of 2012, an Arkansas judge ordered the company to pay $1.1 Billion in fines for marketing the drug in violation of the state’s fraud laws from 2002 – 2006.  The company is currently appealing the fine.
  • In 2010 and 2011, South Carolina ($327 Million) and Louisiana ($257.7 Million) fined the company for misleading safety claims regarding Risperdal use.
  • In August of 2012, Johnson & Johnson settled claims by 36 states for $181 Million.  The settlement closed cases alleging unlawful marketing and promotion of Risperdal
  • In 2012, the company agreed to a $2.2 Billion settlement with the federal government.  This year, the company has threatened to back out of the agreement because the government requires Johnson & Johnson to admit it downplayed the risks of Risperdal use.

While the federal case against Johnson & Johnson is still in dispute, the company has, and will, pay billions of dollars in settlements and judgments for unlawful marketing of Risperdal.   These penalties have not gone unnoticed by attorneys, and Risperdal plaintiffs have alleged that the company’s unlawful marketing contributed to their use of the product without knowledge of the drug’s risks

If you or a loved one has suffered moderate or severe side effects as a result of Risperdal use, click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced attorney.  Risperdal lawsuits require timely action, so do not delay in reaching out to a lawyer.

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