Product News and Recalls

Government launches more inquiries into J&J

Even as Johnson & Johnson is settling previous charges that may cost about $2.2 billion, the government is making new inquiries into allegations that the company used illegal tactics to promote and market its drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Justice Department sent J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit a letter in April, requesting documents related to the marketing and promotion of the antibiotic Doribax.

In addition, J&J’s Acclarent unit received a subpoena in May from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, requesting information about the marketing of the Relieva Stratus MicroFlow Spacer medical device — used to treat sinus conditions — and related products.

The company has recently faced a number of high-profile and potentially costly legal issues, including widespread litigation from patients harmed by the company’s products.

Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics all-metal hip implants were recalled in 2010, following studies that showed nearly half of the patients needed to get them replaced within six years.

The company has also recently recalled four different types of transvaginal mesh implants, used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, after hundreds women who had the devices implanted filed lawsuits alleging that they caused severe pain and injury.

Federal prosecutors reportedly agreed to a settlement of about $2.2 billion for Johnson & Johnson’s illegal marketing of antipsychotic drug Risperdal and other medication, which includes about $400 million in criminal fines. Although federal law allows doctors to prescribe medications for uses other than those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug makers are not allowed to market drugs for those uses.

In recent years, Johnson & Johnson has also faced allegations that it paid bribes and kickbacks to win business.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a transvaginal mesh or metal-on-metal hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip or transvaginal mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.