Product News and Recalls

Blog: $1.2b J&J fine for Risperdal deceptive marketing likely to cause further problems

A post on stock market information Website Seeking Alpha says Johnson & Johnson will likely deal with significant public backlash going forward. An Arkansas jury recently concluded that the company used deceptive tactics to market antipsychotic drug Risperdal, which included hiding or minimizing the drug’s risks. A judge then issued a $1.2 billion fine.

The post says the fine leveled against Johnson and Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals is the largest on record for a pharmaceutical company, and that’s damaging enough. But even more damaging in the long run may be the public perception.

“The main outrage against these two companies, after the actual side effects caused by their unsafe drug, is that they put profits before people,” the post states.

The Arkansas case marks the third such jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson. Juries in Louisiana and South Carolina also decided that the pharmaceutical giant concealed Risperdal’s risks and tricked Medicaid regulators into paying more than they should have for the medication.

A total of 11 states have sued Johnson & Johnson in an attempt to get reimbursement for Medicaid or other public funds paid on Risperdal prescriptions, based on allegations that the company promoted the drug for unapproved uses or downplayed risks.

And those aren’t the end of the company’s legal troubles.

Plaintiffs in thousands of cases against Johnson & Johnson claim the company used similar deceptive tactics in marketing two medical devices.

Up to 10 percent of patients who received transvaginal mesh implants, used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, had the devices fail within a year. Those patients were left to deal with medical problems including organ perforation and debilitating pain.

And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson in response to thousands of reports that the devices fail prematurely and leave toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.

See the blog item here: