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Johnson & Johnson to pay $181 million to settle Risperdal case

36 U.S. states accused the company of improperly marketing its antipsychotic drug

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced yesterday that it will pay $181 million to settle claims with 36 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that it marketed its antipsychotic drugs, Risperdal and Invega, for unapproved uses.

The deal ends one chapter of a prolonged saga concerning J&J’s drug marketing practices between 1998 and 2004. According to state and federal officials, the company and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. subsidiary marketed Risperdal and Invega, designed to treat schizophrenia, as a remedy for bipolar disorder, dementia and mood and anxiety disorders. Some of these marketing efforts were allegedly targeted at the elderly, adolescents and children.

The settlement represents the largest multi-state consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement in history, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “This landmark settlement holds the companies accountable for practices that put patients in danger, and serves as a warning to other pharmaceutical giants that they must play by one set of rules,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

J&J, which did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, said in a statement that it agreed to the deal “to resolve the concerns of the attorneys general under state consumer protection laws and to avoid unnecessary expense and a prolonged legal process.”

The latest settlement follows other recent settlements with states, including Arkansas and Texas, over off-label Risperdal marketing. The pharmaceutical giant is reportedly also in settlement talks with the Department of Justice over three whistleblower lawsuits involving the sale of Risperdal. The company could pay as much as $2.2 billion to settle the charges.

Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek and the New York Times.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the case, see:

J&J and DOJ close to settlement in Risperdal case

Arkansas judge fines J&J $1.1 billion in Risperdal suit

Texas’ deal in Risperdal case finalized

Johnson & Johnson heads back to court in Risperdal suit

Documents reveal Johnson & Johnson’s plan to market an anti-psychotic as a dementia drug to elderly

Alanna Byrne

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