Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, have agreed to pay stiff fines for the accusations that they illegally marketed the drug Risperdal. The penalties for their actions will cost them $2.2 billion in criminal fines and civil liabilities.
The Department of Justice filed charges against the Risperdal manufacturer after an investigation revealed that the company was promoting the drug for uses that were not approved by the FDA. Some of these uses, including as a chemical restraint in dementia patients, could actually be dangerous and result in death. In addition to false advertising charges, the company was also accused of paying kickbacks to physicians and pharmacist who pushed the drug to their patients. Not only are these findings disturbing from a criminal standpoint, but for patients who have trusted their doctors and pharmacist recommendations, these charges leave many feeling manipulated and less willing to believe the people who are supposed to be patient advocates.
Previous Risperdal Lawsuits
Unfortunately, these fines coupled with past Risperdal lawsuits only add to the troubles that Johnson & Johnson is facing. Earlier this year, cases against the Risperdal manufacturer for not informing patients that male children who took the medication were at risk for growing breast tissue (gynecomastia) where piling up. Many male patients have alleged that the drug resulted in this emotionally debilitating side effect, requiring multiple corrective surgeries to remove the breast tissue. These plaintiffs claim that they were prescribed the medication as children and had they known that gynecomastia was a potential side effect, they may have chosen a different medication to help treat their condition.
While Risperdal was designed to be an antipsychotic medication to help people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism, the side effects and criminal behavior of the manufacturer will probably lead to more Risperdal lawsuits as attorneys work to help their clients who were affected by these actions or inactions as the case may be. If you or someone you care for has been treated with Risperdal for other conditions than the FDA approved it or have had breast tissue growth, we may be able to help. Please call us or fill out our online form for a free case review.