Johnson & Johnson is scheduled to present oral arguments next month in Arkansas Supreme Court, where the company will attempt to overthrow a verdict reached more than a year ago in a Risperdal lawsuit, which equated to $1.2 billion in fines.
According to a report from The Associated Press, a court hearing has been set for February 27th in a Little Rock court, and will involve claims that Johnson & Johnson, along with its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., downplayed risks associated with Risperdal and two other medications. The arguments are to be heard as part of a 2012 appeal from Johnson & Johnson, in which the company was ordered to pay $5,000 for each of 240,000 Risperdal scripts written over a 3.5 year period. The medications had been paid for by a state Medicaid Program, according to an article published January 13.
News of this appeal comes two months after a historic settlement agreement was reached between Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Department of Justice, who ordered the company to pay $2.2 billion in charges partially related to the marketing of Risperdal. A drug approved by the FDA to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults and children, as well as for children with autism, the federal government accused Johnson & Johnson of promoting Risperdal off-label to elderly patients with dementia and children, among other allegations. Uses of Risperdal in children were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until 2006.
The company is also facing numerous Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits on behalf of men and young boys who allegedly developed male breasts after taking the medication. Referred to as gynecomastia, this condition is categorized by pain and swelling, tenderness in the breast as well as nipple discharge, and has been suggested to result in D-cup sized breasts.
Court documents show at least 275 Risperdal lawsuits now pending in a consolidated litigation underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, many of which alleging male breast growth. These cases similarly allege that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn doctors and patients about the potential for Risperdal side effects to develop after use of the medication.
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