The number of Risperdal cases has increased for the second consecutive year in the Philadelphia mass torts program and “reached record highs,” according to Righting Injustice. Mass torts claims in general have increased in the city’s mass torts program, but with a 219 percent increase over the course of 2017, Risperdal claims are dominating the filings.
Plaintiffs allege the defendants didn’t adequately warn about the risk of gynecomastia (female-like breast development) in adolescent males taking Risperdal. Some plaintiffs have developed breasts as large as DD. Plaintiffs have also endured lactating breasts because Risperdal generates the production of prolactin – a hormone produced by women during and just after childbirth to trigger lactation. Surgery, including liposuction and mastectomy, is often required to remove the breast tissue.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Risperdal in 1993 to treat adult schizophrenia, but it was not approved for pediatric use until 2006. It is an antipsychotic drug used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. However, it is often prescribed off-label to treat behavioral conditions like ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome.
From 1998 to at least 2004, Janssen aggressively marketed the drug for such off-label uses in children and adolescents. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen agreed to pay a $2.2-billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over these and other deceptive marketing practices involving Risperdal.
At least five Risperdal plaintiffs have won their cases and verdicts have been awarded ranging from $500,0000 to $77 million.