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Johnson & Johnson Faces More Damage Because of Risperdal

Posted on in FDA

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle charges with the U.S. Department of Justice over the alleged illegal marketing of Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor. Johnson & Johnson has been accused of improperly promoting the antipsychotic drug Risperdal for the elderly, children, and people with developmental disabilities. The Food and Drug Administration had only approved the drug for limited pediatric uses in 2006. Further, According to the Department of Justice, Johnson & Johnson paid kickbacks to physicians and to Omnicare Inc., a pharmacy that provides certain medications for nursing homes. The settlement is the third-largest in United States history for pharmaceutical cases, and the is only the latest in a succession of lawsuits involving the marketing of anti-seizure and antipsychotic medications as a way to control patients with dementia and children with developmental disabilities, notwithstanding substantial health risks with the drugs.

Johnson & Johnson is already facing over 400 lawsuits related to side effects in young males. Risperdal may substantially boost levels of a hormone that the body normally releases to stimulate breast growth and milk production. In males, Risperdal may cause the growth of breasts. This condition is called gynecomastia. In a report by the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers stated: “Risperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia and/or galactorrhea. Given that the long-term effects of antipsychotic drug-induced hyperprolactinemia are not well documented, especially regarding osteopenia, infertility, growth, and pubertal delay, risperidone should be administered with caution to children and adolescents.”

If you or someone you know has taken Risperdal you may be eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson. When a manufacturer produces a product for sale, it has a legal obligation to ensure that the product is safe for its intended use. This is true for all consumer products. Everything from small electronics to medication not only has to be safe, but the manufacturer must also provide sufficient warnings if there are any potential risks that might arise when the product is used normally or in an expected normal way. The warnings must be clear and help the consumer understand what the warnings are so he/she can prevent any harm.

Product liability lawsuits frequently arise from inadequate warnings on prescription drugs. Often new dangers are discovered after the product is already on the market, but in the case of Risperdal, unfortunately, the DOJ is claiming that Johnson & Johnson were actively hiding those dangers. At Newland & Newland, we have years of experience dealing with defective drugs. Contact one of our attorneys today with any questions you may have.

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