By Cesar Pinto
Risperdal, the antipsychotic drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, can cause diabetes, according to studies the company hid from the Food and Drug Administration. The company’s marketing falsely claimed that the drug did not carry a diabetes risk. Personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates remain furious with Johnson & Johnson for their continued negligence and disregard for consumer safety.
State officials in Texas are asking Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, to pay at least $579 million in damages for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program by promoting Risperdal for uses not approved by U.S. regulators, in particular, for children with psychiatric disorders. The pharmaceutical giant has also been accused of misleading doctors and regulators about the drug’s risks. In addition to internal company records, the state says that salespeople falsely claimed Risperdal was superior to rival drugs in sales calls with doctors saying it wasn’t linked to diabetes for more than a decade. The director of Texas’s Medicaid program also testified that the state spent additional money paying for Risperdal prescriptions because of false claims Janssen made about Risperdal’s diabetes risk and its aggressive efforts to market the medication for unapproved uses.
A witness testified in court this week that Johnson & Johnson discovered that about half of the patients taking Risperdal developed diabetes within a year of taking the drug as early as 1999, when a study compared the risks of Risperdal to a similar antipsychotic drug. The study concluded that Risperdal caused “medically serious weight gain,” leading to the development of diabetes. The company did not release the results of that or two others studies that later found similar personal injury risks associated with the drug.
This is not the first time Johnson & Johnson is in trouble for choosing to ignore patient safety. Last year, a South Carolina judge ordered Janssen to pay more than $327 million in damages for falsely marketing Risperdal in that state. The judge cited the withheld studies in his decision, saying:
“information was not disclosed because it did not fit the marketing department’s vision for the promotion and marketing of this drug.”
In September of last year, Johnson & Johnson paid $85 million for the mislabeling of an acute heart failure drug called Natrecor, and DePuy, an orthopaedic division of Johnson & Johnson, is currently under fire for defective hip implants.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced in handling cases involving pharmaceutical and drug product injuries. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured by a pharmaceutical drug, a negligent medical provider, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.