Montana Settles with Janssen over Risperdal Marketing

Montana, who opted out of the Department of Justice lawsuit, settled with the makers and marketers of Risperdal for $5.9 million.   Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (subsidiaries of Johnson and Johnson) admit no wrongdoing, in a settlement signed 2-6-14.  Attorney William Rossbach claimed the companies hid risks from physicians and the public, particularly the risk of weight gain, diabetes and complications to the brain’s blood vessels in the elderly.

Doctors can prescribe drugs as they see fit, but companies are not allowed to market pharmaceuticals for uses that are not FDA approved.  When doctors do prescribe for uses that are not FDA approved, it is often referred to as “off label use.”

The FDA approved Risperdal for short-term treatment of bipolar disorder, and adult schizophrenia.  However, the lawsuit said that the companies also promoted the use of Risperdal for conditions in children, dementia in the elderly, depression, anxiety, and other metal problems in both minors and adults.

The Department of Justice settled last November for $2.2 billion in one of the biggest settlements ever.  Cases are still pending in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

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