Medicine

J&J must pay $8B in Risperdal case: Jury

J&J must pay $8B in Risperdal case: Jury

A law firm for the plaintiff released a statement Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, saying the companies used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug called Risperdal.

Plaintiffs claim that J&J failed to warn of the risk of gynecomastia, the development of enlarged breasts in males, associated with Risperdal, which they say the company marketed for unapproved uses with children.

Johnson & Johnson denied the allegations, and said it's confident the ruling will be overturned.

Mr. Murray's lawyers, Thomas Kline and Jason Itkin, said in a statement that the jury "resoundingly told Johnson & Johnson that its actions were deliberate and malicious".

In the statement, Johnson & Johnson accused the court of preventing their defence team from presenting "key evidence" on Risperdal labelling.

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The drug comes from a J&J subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and came about on behalf of Nicholas Murray, a Maryland resident who grew breasts after he started using Risperdal as a nine-year-old in 2003 to help control symptoms related to autism.

In New Zealand the drug is called Risperidone.

"This award for a single plaintiff stands in stark contrast with the initial $680,000 compensatory award and is a clear violation of due process".

Murray, like other male plaintiffs in the mass tort litigation over Risperdal, alleges that he developed breasts after being prescribed the medicine, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved in the 1990s only for treating schizophrenia in adults, when he was a minor. In August, an Oklahoma judge ordered the company to pay $572 million for contributing to the state's opioid-addiction crisis. Last year, a Missouri jury ordered the company to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who say Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder gave them ovarian cancer.

In 2013, in one of the largest health care fraud settlements in USA history, the Department of Justice said Risperdal and two other drugs manufactured by Johnson & Johnson were promoted for dementia patients, even though Risperdal was approved only to treat schizophrenia. Last week, J&J said it agreed to pay $20.4 million to settle lawsuits filed by two OH counties alleging the company helped spark the opioid epidemic; the company didn't admit liability. Aside from thousands of Risperdal lawsuits, the company faces about 15,500 talc cases and opioid litigation from across the country, among other legal issues.