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A recent legal settlement exposes the lows to which pharmaceutical companies will stoop – at the expense of patients’ health – to sell their products.

It was reported last month that Johnson & Johnson is expected to pay as much as $2.2 billion –including an approximately $400 million criminal fine – to make a U.S. Justice Department investigation into its marketing practices go away. The medical product giant had been under federal prosecutors’ scrutiny for its alleged marketing of the schizophrenia medication Invega, the heart-failure drug Natrecor and the antipsychotic Risperdal for uses not approved by the FDA.

Most seriously, Johnson & Johnson stood accused of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to a nursing home pharmacy operator in exchange for their promotion of Risperdal for unapproved uses such as the treatment of anxiety in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

Johnson & Johnson likely settled the case to ensure it could continue to sell its products to federal health programs such as Medicare. If the suit had gone to trial and the company had been convicted, it would have been prohibited from doing so. If finalized, this drug-marketing settlement will be among the largest ever – but Johnson & Johnson, which had sales of $65 billion last year, certainly isn’t the only drug company to have spent its legal problems away. Pfizer, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline all have paid billions to settle illegal drug marketing investigations.

Have you or a loved one been harmed as a result of pharmaceutical companies’ greed and lack of consideration for patients’ health? Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.