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Texas’ deal in Risperdal case finalized

Johnson & Johnson will pay $158 million to end suit

A judge in Texas has finalized the $158 million settlement Johnson & Johnson (J&J) reached with the state in January over the marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Earlier this week, Thomson Reuters reported that the case was heading back to court, but plaintiffs were unsure of the reason. "As far as we knew, we had a solid settlement," Tom Kelley, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, told Thomson Reuters on Monday. "We'll have more information on Tuesday about what has caused [J&J] some concerns."

On Tuesday, District Judge John Dietz finalized the agreement that will allow J&J to pay the plaintiff, his attorney, Texas and the federal government.

"We are pleased that the settlement agreement has been brought to a close," Teresa Mueller, a spokeswoman for J&J's Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, told Thomson Reuters. "Janssen is committed to ethical business practices, and has policies in place to ensure its products are only promoted for their FDA-approved indications."

The case dates back to 2004 when the U.S. government began a 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. Soon after, individual states, including Texas, began suing J&J over Risperdal marketing. 

The settlement marks the largest Medicaid fraud recovery case ever in Texas. 

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