Friday, January 20, 2012

State Settles With Johnson & Johnson Over Risperdal: $158 Million - Texas

By Craig Malisow

A drug company accused of fraudulently promoting the antipsychotic Risperdal for use in Texas's Medicaid system has settled a state Attorney General's lawsuit for $158 million.

The AG's office, one of several across the country to sue Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) for fraudulent marketing, had sought $1 billion. Although the suit was filed in 2006, the trial only began January 9th.

As we reported in December, the marketing leading to Risperdal's inclusion in the Texas Medication Algorith Project was fraught with conflicts of interest among state officials and academic researchers, some of whom were involved in the carving out the latest prescription medication parameters for children in the state foster care system. Although TMAP was officially jettisoned in 2010, the state still pays for foster kids as young as two to take psychotropic drugs, sometimes without a diagnosis.

According to a statement by Janssen, the settlement covers "alleged Medicaid overpayment" from 1994-2004, and will "circumvent potentially lengthy and costly appellate activities....Janssen is committed to ethical business practices and has policies in place to ensure its products are only promoted for their FDA-approved indications."

We're not disagreeing with that last statement. They probably do have policies in place. It just doesn't look like they were followed....


1 comment:

  1. Risperal reproached.
    Same saga here as Eli Lilly Zyprexa.

    Johnson and Johnson is a trusted brand we associate with babies.
    Risperdal,Zyprexa,as well as the other atypical antipsychotics, are being prescribed for children, even though this is an unapproved, off-label use. An estimated 2.5 million children are now taking atypical antipsychotics. Over half are being given them for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,many of these foster children.
    Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for (life-long) diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
    --Daniel Haszard
    *Tell the truth don't be afraid*