Texas Risperdal Lawsuit
In 2012, Johnson & Johnson paid $158 million to settle a Risperdal lawsuit brought by the state of Texas. Texas had sued the drug maker for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program by promoting risperidone for the treatment of children whose problems had nothing to do with schizophrenia—in other words, for uses not approved by the FDA.
In the course of the investigation, the state of Texas uncovered that, in 1995, Janssen paid nearly one million dollars to three influential psychiatrists to work with them in writing treatment guidelines that would make risperidone the first choice for the treatment of schizophrenia in Texas. In expert witness testimony, Dr. David Rothman, Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical School, stated that Janssen’s scheme disregarded professional medical ethics and “subverted scientific integrity” by disguising its marketing ruse as a scientific enterprise.
“… in disregard of professional medical ethics and principles of conflict of interest, in 1995 J&J funded a project led by three psychiatrists … to formulate Schizophrenia Practice Guidelines. From the start, the project subverted scientific integrity, appearing to be a purely scientific venture when it was at its core, a marketing venture for Risperdal.”
– Dr. David Rothman, Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical School.
At the same time, according to a Bloomberg news report (citing a Janssen company memo), Janssen pushed salespeople in Texas to “flood clinics with Risperdal stuff” to increase prescribing of the drug to children and adolescents. Janssen also paid the medical director of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation to push Janssen’s “guidelines” into other states.
Other State Risperdal Lawsuits
In August 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $181 million to settle legal actions that had been brought by 36 other states. Each state had filed a separate Risperdal lawsuit charging the company with improperly marketing Risperdal.
Several states have filed their own Risperdal lawsuits, including South Carolina where a jury found Janssen guilty of “unfair and deceptive acts” after it sent doctors in that state a misleading letter about the safety and effectiveness of Risperdal. Janssen ultimately paid $124 million to the state.
“’Janssen’s desire for market share and increased sales knew no bounds, leading to its egregious violation of South Carolina law,’ Justice John Kittredge wrote in the ruling on Wednesday.”
Justice Department’s Risperdal Lawsuit
In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion dollars to settle criminal and civil charges, brought by the U. S. Department of Justice, claiming the company illegally promoted Risperdal to control elderly patients in nursing homes and for behavioral problems in children. As part of the settlement agreement, the company pled guilty to misbranding Risperdal by promoting the drug for unapproved uses. The DOJ also accused Johnson & Johnson of paying kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists.
Filing a Risperdal Lawsuit
Through consumer and whistleblower lawsuits, many of the hidden unethical practices of Janssen and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson related to Risperdal have been uncovered. Filing a Risperdal lawsuit places those injured by Risperdal on the road to justice and permits them to obtain the compensation they deserve, as well as alerting other consumers to the many dangers associated with this drug.
If you are aware of a boy or a young man who has been diagnosed with gynecomastia after taking this drug, we urge you to contact the Risperdal lawsuit team at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. Over the past 25 years, our firm has successfully litigated thousands of personal injury cases against major pharmaceutical companies. Please fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone at 1-800-827-0087 for a free case evaluation and consultation.