Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen unit have agreed to settle a Risperdal lawsuit in Montana for more than $5.9 million, according to the state’s Attorney General.
The Montana Department of Justice announced on March 6th that an agreement was reached in February between the Attorney General’s Office and the makers of this anti-psychotic drug, who were accused of marketing it as safe and effective for conditions that may not be listed under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approved uses. Among other things, the suit originally filed in 2008 included claims that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about Risperdal gynecomastia and other side effects, while overstating its benefits in treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, among other diseases.
Six years later, Attorney General Tim Fox has ordered that some funds obtained by the settlement go towards the creation of a new Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Program. As part of his plan, a public education specialist will be hired to launch a student education program to raise awareness on the dangers of prescription drug addiction.
“Almost eight percent of Montana’s youth between the ages of 12 – 17 recently reported abusing prescription drugs,” Fox said. “We need to do more to educate them, and their parents, about the dangers of these drugs.”
Another $1.5 billion will be allocated to providing mental health services through the Montana Mental Health Trust.
In other Risperdal lawsuit news, cases alleging male breast development and other complications are moving forward in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where a consolidated Pennsylvania court litigation is underway. This condition is referred to as gynecomastia, and may stem from Risperdal’s elevated levels of a hormone associated with male breast growth in girls and lactation in young mothers. According to claims filed in this proceeding, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen failed to provide adequate warning about Risperdal’s possible side effects, and overstated its benefits.
Similar claims were filed recently in a probe led by the U.S. Department of Justice, which the drug manufacturer agreed to settle in November 2013. Among other things, the $2.2 billion Risperdal lawsuit settlement involved its marketing of this medication and certain others.
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