New York Times
J. & J. to Pay $158 Million to End Suit Filed by Texas
January 19, 2012
Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that it would pay $158 million to settle a Texas lawsuit accusing the drug maker of improperly marketing its Risperdal antipsychotic drug to state residents on the Medicaid health program for the poor, including children.
The lawsuit accuses the company of pushing Risperdal as “appropriate and safe to treat a broad range of symptoms in populations and disease states for which it had no F.D.A.-approved indication, including in the child and adolescent population.”
The settlement fully resolves all Risperdal-related claims in Texas, the company said. The agreement applies only to the state of Texas and does not involve other state or federal Risperdal litigation.
The deal settles claims brought by Texas in 2004 and involves allegations of Medicaid overpayments from 1994 to 2008, according to a statement from the company’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit.
“Johnson & Johnson’s scheme to profit from the Medicaid program by overstating the safety and effectiveness of an expensive drug and improperly influencing officials ended up costing taxpayers millions of dollars,” Texas’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, said in a statement.
The settlement will be paid to the original plaintiff, his lawyers, the State of Texas and the federal government, which provides Medicaid reimbursements, the company said.
The complaint against Johnson & Johnson and several of its units filed in federal court in Texas accused company representatives of targeting “every level of the Texas Medicaid Program with misrepresentations about the safety, superiority, efficacy, appropriate uses and cost effectiveness of Risperdal.”
Johnson & Johnson had previously said it was in discussions with the federal government over its Risperdal inquiries. The company is in various stages of litigation with several other states.
For the original story (with pictures & video) click the link below