By CCHR International The Mental Health Industry Watchdog July 11, 2016 On July 1, 2016, a Philadelphia jury awarded $70 million to the family of…
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For two years while the state of Texas was suing Johnson & Johnson for fraudulently inflating the cost and effectiveness of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, taxpayers picked up a $247,666.87 bill for the Texas Youth Commission to continue prescribing the drug to young inmates.
Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., agreed in January to pay the state $158 million to settle the lawsuit. The state had been seeking $579 million.
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit paid a Texas mental health official to speak around the U.S. about state guidelines on prescribing antipsychotic drugs that gave preference to medicines like the company’s Risperdal, the official said.
Steven Shon accepted honorariums to fly to Arizona, Florida and New Jersey to discuss Texas guidelines developed in 1999 advising doctors that a newer class of drugs like Risperdal were a “first choice or option” for schizophrenia, he testified today in state court in Austin. Texas is suing J&J, saying the company fraudulently promoted Risperdal and overbilled Medicaid by at least $579 million.
Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $1 billion to the U.S. and most states to resolve a civil investigation into marketing of the antipsychotic Risperdal, according to people familiar with the matter.
J&J, the world’s largest health products company, reached an accord last week with the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak about the matter. It doesn’t resolve negotiations over a possible criminal plea, they said.
The U.S. government has been investigating Risperdal sales practices since 2004, including allegations the company marketed the drug for unapproved uses, J&J has said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company said it has been in negotiations with the U.S. to settle this investigation.
J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, disclosed in August that it reached an agreement to settle a misdemeanor criminal charge related to Risperdal marketing. The company is in negotiations to pay about $400 million more to settle this portion of the investigation, one of the people said.
Allen Jones was curious.
Why did Pennsylvania use a computer program that often pointed to a Johnson & Johnson drug over other, cheaper medicine to treat certain mental illnesses, the investigator for the Keystone State’s Office of Inspector General wanted to know. While the computer program mandated doctors use a new line of anti-psychotic drugs, including Risperdal, sold by J&J’s subsidiary Janssen companies, Jones said he couldn’t find government-funded medical studies showing that these new drugs were any more effective than their generic predecessors.