Product News and Recalls

J&J settles Risperdal lawsuit on first day of trial

On the first day of trial, Johnson & Johnson settled a lawsuit centering on complaints that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a male plaintiff to grow breasts, Bloomberg reports. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

It was the first of about 130 lawsuits alleging that Risperdal caused young males to grow breasts. An additional 290 allege other personal injuries caused by the drug.

A lawyer for the plaintiff claimed he suffered psychological trauma from the breast growth he experienced while taking the drug as a child from 2000 to 2004, when it wasn’t approved for children.

Johnson & Johnson is dealing with legal action in both federal and a number of state courts over illegal marketing of Risperdal.

The company is also facing thousands of lawsuits over improper marketing of medical devices that the company knew were unsafe.

Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics division was obliged to recall its all-metal hip implants in 2010 after nearly half of the patients who received them had to get them replaced within six years.

And the company recently recalled four different types of transvaginal mesh implants, used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, following widespread complaints that they caused severe pain and injuries for recipients.

The plaintiff’s lawyers in the Risperdal case said Johnson & Johnson valued the potential money to be made selling its products over the health and well-being of people using them – even in the case of children.

Bloomberg quotes one of the lawyers as stating: “The billions J&J made had a terrible human cost. This drug caused female breasts to grow on little boys around the country. Their childhoods were stolen, but billions were made.”

The federal government and a number of states have also filed suit over the marketing of Risperdal. The company allegedly used tactics that included misleading doctors about the drug’s risks and improperly touting it for unapproved uses, leading the federal government and the states to overpay from Medicaid and other taxpayer-supported funds.

Company officials recently reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to pay as much as $2.2 billion to resolve probes of drug sales. The company has also agreed to pay $181 million to resolve claims by 36 states that it improperly marketed and advertised Risperdal and Invega, another antipsychotic.

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

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