Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”), the world’s largest health products company, was recently sued by an AIDS treatment advocacy group that claims the drugmaker overcharged for medications it purchased under a United States federal program. According to allegations in the lawsuit, the Los Angeles, California – based AIDS Healthcare Foundation accused J&J of failing to provide discounts, as required pursuant to federal law, for medicines used by nonprofit charities that provide treatment for people with HIV, the AIDS-causing virus. The lawsuit named J&J’s Centocor Ortho Biotech and Tibotec Therapeutics units, which are located in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court, J&J overcharged the AIDS group by more than $68,000 for the medications from January 1st to June 30th. In November, AIDS Healthcare filed a similar suit against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for J&J’s Tibotec unit stated via e-mail: “The allegations the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has raised are without merit.” A spokesperson for New York-based Bristol-Myers stated via telephone interview: “We are reviewing the AIDS Healthcare Foundation complaint and have no further comment at this time.”
According to the spokersperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nonprofit group provides medical care and services for more than 140,000 people in 22 countries.
In the New York Stock Exchange composite trading, Johnson & Johnson shares fell 32 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $62.02 at 4 p.m.; and Bristol-Myers shares fell 2 cents to $26.34.
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