A status update meeting is scheduled this week for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas regarding the 5,800 Risperdal cases that have been filed in Pennsylvania alone, against Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary and drug maker Jansen Pharmaceuticals, LawyersandSettlements.com reports. The meeting comes on the heels of another important lawsuit filed last month in Missouri involving the drug, according to US News and the Associated Press.
The suit was filed by a number of child advocacy organizations against the State of Missouri on behalf of children in the state’s foster care system who were “inappropriately provid[ed] psychotropic drugs” with limited “oversight of the medications.” It is a first-of-its-kind lawsuit. One of the suit’s claims centers on Risperdal being prescribed to two children aged 2 and 3, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved its use in children younger than age 5.
The Jere Beasley Report notes that a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 cost Johnson & Johnson $2.2 billion in drug marketing penalties for off-label marketing, including claims that the company aggressively marketed Risperdal for off-label uses to help control the behavior of children and adolescents.
The FDA initially approved the drug in 1994 to treat schizophrenia in adult patients. It has since been approved to treat adolescent schizophrenia, bipolar mania in adults and children ages 10 to 17 and symptoms of autism in adolescents ages 5 to 17.
In addition to the Pennsylvania cases, 16,900 lawsuits have been filed over the antipsychotic drug nationwide. The central claim in the thousands of lawsuits against the drug manufacturer is that it covered up the risk of Risperdal’s most devastating side effect, gynecomastia, which is abnormal breast tissue growth in young boys, as Beasley Allen previously described.
Neither the pharmaceutical giant nor its subsidiary have discussed settling ongoing lawsuits despite four recent jury verdicts totaling $74 million against the drug manufacturers.
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If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with gynecomastia as a result of taking Risperdal, contact James Lampkin, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at James.Lampkin@beasleyallen.com.
US News/Associated Press
Jere Beasley Report (2013, December). Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion In Drug Marketing Penalties, 5-6.