Louisiana Court Overturns $258 Million Penalty Against J&J for Risperdal Marketing
On Tuesday, January 28th, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson won an appeal in Louisiana Supreme Court to overturn a $258 million penalty for marketing practices associated with its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.
The ruling stated that Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell failed to prove that J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals violated Louisiana’s state law by intentionally misrepresenting Risperdal as safe for off-label uses, and hiding the side effects.
The Louisiana case was separate from a recent $2.2 billion settlement for off-label marketing of Risperdal between the US Department of Justice and J&J last fall. The recent federal settlement involved off-label Risperdal use in elderly patients with dementia, as well as children with behavioral disturbances related to schizophrenia. 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.
J&J spokeswoman Pamela Van Houten said, “We are pleased that the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. Since this lawsuit was filed against us, we have maintained that we did not violate Louisiana’s Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law (MAPIL), and we are gratified to have our position validated by today’s court decision.”
J&J filed another appeal in Arkansas, which will hear oral arguments in February. 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.
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.
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