In light of Johnson & Johnson’s recent decision to resolve a government probe involving medications including Risperdal, as well as agreements last year to settle multiple Risperdal lawsuit filings, legislators in Pennsylvania are pushing for new false claims regulations.
A report from November 6th indicates that a representative from Washington County, as well as another legislator in western Pennsylvania, introduced a state version of a False Claims Act last June to prevent healthcare fraud, waste and abuse—an issue that is especially timely given Johnson & Johnson’s recent settlement of a government probe related to the off-labeling marketing of a drug named in Risperdal gynecomastia claims.
Approved to treat schizophrenia in adults and adolescents, as well as bipolar disorder in adults and children ages 10-to-17, the company was slammed with criminal and civil charges for promoting the anti-psychotic medication to children, the elderly, and individuals with mental disabilities. Research shows that Risperdal’s off-label uses also include the treatment of ADHD.
Lawmakers say that instituting a state-level false claims statute would recover the “maximum amount possible from those who cheat or attempt to cheat the government.”
Pennsylvania residents who have lost millions to Medicare and Medicaid Fraud would also benefit from such a measure, they add, in that a false claims act would provide a “unique private/public partnership with citizens who have knowledge of wrongdoings by vendors benefitting from state money.”
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is facing a rising litigation of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit filings in the U.S., which allege male breast growth caused by the drug.
A Bloomberg.com report from last year indicated that the manufacturer agreed to settle at least five cases filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in October 2012. Plaintiffs involved in these claims allege that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn about the potential for men to develop gynecomastia as a result of taking Risperdal, and that sales reps for the medication were trained by the manufacturer to downplay its risks.
Risperdal lawsuits that have been filed in the U.S. seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages incurred by the alleged injuries of the patient. Call a Risperdal lawyer to find out more about your legal rights at .