Faricy Law Firm, P.A.
Free Consultation
Local 612-927-2590
Toll-free 800-410-5052

Large Risperdal settlement sends a message

Last month, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreed to pay the largest-ever legal settlement amount related to the sale of a single medication. The company has pled guilty to a misbranding misdemeanor charge and will pay over two billion dollars in response to a high-profile investigation into its marketing approach for the drug Risperdal. It is hoped that other pharmaceutical manufacturers will now refrain from improperly marketing dangerous pharmaceutical drugs because they will have learned from J&J’s missteps.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder perhaps best expressed the significance of the settlement and the ramifications of J&J’s marketing decisions when he recently noted that, “This alleged conduct is shameful and it is unacceptable. It displayed a reckless indifference to the safety of the American people. And it constituted a clear abuse of the public trust, showing a blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to protect public health.”

The federal case against J&J grew out of allegations that the company marketed Risperdal for off-label uses. This does not seem like such an unspeakable crime on face. However, drugs are only to be prescribed for off-label uses by licensed physicians who understand the unique circumstances of a given patient. In general, drugs may only be marketed for uses approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This marketing red line provides a critical patient safety check on drug manufacturers. Without it, companies could market potentially dangerous drugs to any American who might listen. It is absolutely imperative that pharmaceutical manufacturers follow the FDA’s marketing restrictions for the safety of patients nationwide.

Source: Modern Healthcare, “Johnson & Johnson to pay over $2 billion to settle Risperdal investigations,” Joe Carlson, Nov. 4, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information