Survey data taken over a seven-year period suggests that demands for a medication pending Risperdal lawsuit litigation, along with several other antipsychotics, may be cooling off due to a number of factors, reports MedPageToday.com.
According to a Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), annual antipsychotic prescriptions increased from about 6.4 million to 10.5 million between 2003 and 2010. A team from Brown University in Providence, R.I. found that from 2008 to 2009, drug sales remained about the same, but dropped off by nearly 1 million a year later.
This information was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting, where researchers cited the following as possible reasons for the decline: a lessened popularity for older medications, lawsuits alleging illegal marketing, as well as warning and label changes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others. In recent years, the number of Risperdal gynecomastia claims alleging Johnson & Johnson’s illegal promotion of the medication to children has increased substantially.
According to MedPageToday, MEPS is a project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and included data from about 30,000 or more individuals per year. The survey was completed by about 11,000 to 14,000 families, and pulled data from physicians, pharmacies and other medical providers. Findings revealed that prescriptions for risperidone, the generic version of Risperdal, along with olanzapine saw little change over the seven-year study period.
These findings may come as a surprise to some plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits that similarly reference a settlement between its manufacturer and the U.S. Department of Justice in November 2013. After the federal government accused Johnson & Johnson of concealing side effect information from the general public, and improperly marketed the drug for use in children and elderly patients with dementia, the company agreed to resolve claims for $2.2 billion.
There are also 500 lawsuits against the company now pending in a centralized litigation underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Many claims filed in the Pennsylvania litigation include Risperdal gynecomastia claims that use of the antipsychotic may lead to male breast development, and that Johnson & Johnson promoted the use of Risperdal in children before its approval to do so in 2006.
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