Janssen To Pay $5.9 Million Settlement to Montana for Misleading Ads
In March of this year, Montana State Attorney General Tim Fox announced that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle allegations in the state regarding its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.
Like many Risperdal settlements in other states, the state of Montana alleged that Janssen deceived Montana’s doctors by promoting off-label use of the antipsychotic drug, well before Risperdal was approved for other uses. The state claimed that the pharmaceutical company’s advertising promoted Risperdal as safe and effective for a variety of uses.
The attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit against Janssen in 2008, alleging the company employed illegal, unfair, and deceptive practices regarding Risperdal’s marketing. The company finally agreed to settle the lawsuit this year, and as part of the settlement agreed not only to pay $5.9 million, but also to present the risks and benefits of Risperdal in a fair, balanced manner. Janssen did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.
“All too often, drug abuse begins in our own homes with the misuse of prescription drugs found in our medicine cabinets,” Fox said. “Almost eight percent of Montana’s youth between the ages of 12–17 recently reported abusing prescription drugs. We need to do more to educate them, and their parents, about the dangers of these drugs. The Janssen settlement funds give us the resources we need to address the issue and focus on providing meaningful solutions.”
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.
Since the Justice Department settlement, Janssen has attempted to reverse Risperdal verdicts at the state level. Both Arkansas and Louisiana overturned Risperdal verdicts recently, although the Arkansas Attorney General recently asked the state’s supreme court to re-examine that decision.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced on Thursday, April 3rd, that he would file a petition with the court, asking it to revisit the overturned Risperdal verdict, which ruled that the state misapplied the Medicaid fraud law against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen.
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