In 2012, Johnson & Johnson paid $181 million in a consumer fraud settlement case for marketing Risperdal to elderly patients as a dementia treatment. They ignored that fact that the FDA had not approved the drug for this use. The massive settlement served as a punishment for other false “off-label” marketing claims, including the company’s advertising of the drug for use in treating bipolar disorder, anxiety, and, depression and the company’s alleged downplaying of the true dangers of Risperdal. As a result of the company’s illegal marketing, thousands of patients were wrongly exposed to the risks of serious Risperdal side effects. This often happens when pharmaceutical giants rush dangerous drugs to market.
More lawsuits are developing that allege Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals concealed the harmful side effects of their product, the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. The types of damaging effects include diabetes, weight gain, and strokes.
The people of Kentucky filed suit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals formerly known as Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Janssen Research & Development, formerly known as Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, on May 14th 2013. On May 15th, 2013, three mass tort claims opposing Risperdal were filed in Philadelphia state court.
Kentucky believes the pharmaceutical companies were aware of the serious side effects associated with Risperdal even before its launch in 1994, but willfully concealed them from patients and doctors, and intentionally misrepresented the drug as safe.
The lawsuit claims that Risperdal is “the most commonly used atypical antipsychotic in the world,” with a whopping $4.5 billion in sales alone in 2007. The complaint asserts that, “the success of the medication was due to the defendants’ advertising and marketing of Risperdal, which unfairly, falsely, misleadingly, and deceptively minimized, misrepresented and concealed the drug’s true safety profile from consumers.”
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It continues: “Defendants failed to warn doctors and patients about the serious risk of cerebrovascular adverse in the elderly with dementia until mid-2003. Defendants also failed to warn doctors and patients of the increased risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia until the latter part of 2003. Defendants never warned doctors and patients of the serious risk of increased weight gain, and only warned patients about the hyperporlactinemia risk associated with Risperdal in mid-2007. Furthermore, defendants, using multiple methods, have obfuscated, downplayed, misrepresented, hid, and lied about vital safety information they knew concerning those deadly risks associated with Risperdal use.”
As far as damages, the citizens of Kentucky are demanding $2,000 for each violation of their Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, $10,000 for each violation concerning a person 65 or older, medical costs, attorney fees, and an injunction. The State is seeking damages for violations of state laws. They have not made any federal claims at this time.
Dow Jones Newswires has recently reported that Johnson & Johnson set aside an undisclosed amount of money to settle complaints of illegally promoting Risperdal for off-label uses. This allegation was not one of Kentucky’s claims.
Johnson & Johnson representatives said they have yet to set aside a reserve to cover civil claims under the False Claims Act concerning Risperdal, because it had not been served with such a lawsuit. Such lawsuits, if or when they come, would be distinct from Kentucky’s which only raises state claims. The federal government, however, could intervene in state suits and file superseding complaints in a Federal Court.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a Clearwater based, personal injury law firm. If you have been injured as a result of the prescription medication Risperdal, call the dangerous medication attorneys at: (833) 606-DRUG .
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(833) 606-DRUG