On July 19, 2012, The Associated Press reported that Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay a $2.2 billion settlement to resolve an investigation that involved the sale of a dangerous drug, Risperdal. The settlement by Johnson & Johnson will be the largest drug-marketing settlement in history. A $400 million criminal fine will also be added to the final amount.
The lawsuit originated after Johnson & Johnson began making payments to Omnicare, Inc. in order to increase the use of its product, Risperdal, in nursing homes in Kentucky and other states. By illegally paying off Omnicare to dispense more of the dangerous drug, Johnson & Johnson increased profits from the product by over $280 million, nearly tripling profits in just five years.
Risperdal is meant to treat many psychotic conditions, including several symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The drug, however, has been shown to increase fatalities in elderly patients, particularly those suffering from dementia. This makes the pushing of such a drug to nursing home patients a particularly callous crime.
In 2009, Omnicare paid a $90 million settlement to clear its name and resolve the lawsuit that followed its involvement in this terrible scandal. Representatives from both Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Justice Department declined to comment on the settlement.
When drug providers fail to provide safe products, they should be held accountable. Contact an attorney at Gray & White today for a free consultation about your dangerous prescription drug or medical malpractice case. Call us at 502-210-8942 or (toll free) 888-450-4456.