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J&J Begins Risperdal Fight in Arkansas

Johnson & Johnson Begins Fight Against $1.2 Billion Risperdal Judgment in Arkansas

Last month, Johnson & Johnson filed appeals in various states which had ruled to penalize the pharmaceutical giant for off-label marketing of its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.

On Thursday, February 27th, the appeals process in Arkansas began, with J&J hoping to overturn the $1.2 billion ruling. Attorneys for the drug manufacturer argued that the judge had improperly applied state law, as there was no harm to Arkansas’s Medicaid program due to off-label marketing.

The state had originally pursued the company for Medicaid fraud, alleging that marketing the drug for non-FDA-approved uses led to overbilling the Medicaid program.

In 2012, an Arkansas jury agreed that J&J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals misled Arkansas’s doctors regarding Risperdal’s safety. The judgment found that the pharmaceutical company engaged in “false or deceptive acts” regarding a 2003 letter touting Risperdal as safer than competing drugs. The letter was sent to more than 6,000 doctors across Arkansas, and J&J was fined $1.25 in penalties for the false claims, or $5,000 for each of 240,000 Risperdal prescriptions paid for by the state Medicaid program in a 3 ½ year period.

In a separate federal level act, the Justice Department settled an off-label Risperdal lawsuit with J&J for $2.2 billion, which resolved all criminal and civil allegations that the company promoted the powerful antipsychotic for inappropriate use, included in elderly dementia patients and young children. According to the original lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary Janssen promoted Risperdal for off-label and unapproved uses between 1999 and 2005, such as controlling aggression in elderly dementia patients, as well as behavioral disturbances in children. Risperdal was approved in 1993, launched in 1994, and lost patent protection in 2008; the FDA did not approve pediatric use of the drug until 2006.

In January of this year, Johnson & Johnson had their $330 million penalty overturned in Louisiana.

South Carolina also found Janssen and J&J guilty of violating consumer protection laws and fined the pharmaceutical manufacturer. In that personal injury case, off-label use of Risperdal has been linked to personal injury such as excessive weight gain leading to Type 2 diabetes. The pharmaceutical company is awaiting a ruling on an appeal in that state as well.

Meanwhile, J&J faces more than 200 personal injury lawsuits involving Risperdal, pending in a consolidated litigation in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Dangerous Drug Cases

The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices, like Risperdal. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals. If you or a family member have been injured or killed after using a dangerous drugs or medical products such as Risperdal, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800



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