US Department of Justice Sues Makers of Risperdal

02-17-2015
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Johnson and Johnson, the makers of anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, have been locked in several product liability and consumer fraud lawsuits with the US Department of Justice, and have paid out millions of dollars in settlements since 2011. These include a $327 million fine from the state of South Carolina, a $181 million consumer fraud settlement to 36 states, and most recently, a $2.2 billion settlement for fraudulent business practices, deceptive marketing, and unapproved use of the drug for senior citizens.

Risperdal, also known by its generic name, Risperidone, is an anti-psychotic drug used to treat disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and irritability caused by autism in children, and is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia in children. The drug was put on the market in 1993, and was illegally marketed to children’s doctors as being safe for use in children and adolescents. Johnson and Johnson continued to market the drug as such until 2004, despite lack of approval from the FDA at the time. In 2003, users began reporting serious side effects, the most common being Gynecomastia, or breast development in boys, and premature breast milk production in girls. Children also began experiencing extreme weight gain, often leading to high blood sugar, and Type 2 Diabetes. The FDA suggested Johnson and Johnson add a warning label to the product, which it did, but still seriously downplayed the risks. In some extreme cases, patients developed movement disorders such as Tardive Dyskenesia, which is characterized by uncontrollable, and sometimes painful muscle movements. Other side effects include insomnia, vomiting, dizziness, tremor, somnolence, nausea, fatigue, restlessness, abdominal pain, and anxiety.

In 2012, the District of Columbia and 36 other states settled a massive illegal marketing lawsuit with Johnson and Johnson due to ‘off label’ prescriptions. Doctors had apparently been prescribing Risperdal to treat psychosis and anxiety in dementia patients, an unapproved use, because it would require a black label warning for extreme danger in use for senior citizens.

If you or a loved one have experienced traumatic side effects from anti-psychotic drugs such as Risperdal, and require monetary compensation for your losses, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.

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