Federal prosecutors have rejected a proposed settlement with Johnson & Johnson over the marketing of its drug Risperdal. In January, the pharmaceutical giant had agreed to pay $1 billion dollars to settle the suit, which claims J&J tried to sell the drug for unapproved uses.
The Philadelphia federal prosecutors who reached the agreement with J&J will now go back and renegotiate a new settlement. According to the Wall Street Journal, Washington officials are seeking a larger settlement—possibly one closer to the amount Eli Lilly & Co. agreed to pay in a similar case in 2009. That settlement garnered $1.4 billion to end the dispute over its marketing practices of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.
The J&J case dates back to 2004 when the U.S. government began the civil investigation against J&J claiming the pharmaceutical company marketed the schizophrenic drug for unapproved illnesses, including bipolar disorder, dementia, and mood and anxiety disorders.
Before J&J lost its patent on Risperdal, it was the company’s best-selling drug.