Categorized | Legal News

Johnson & Johnson 1; Teenage Boys, 0

In a stunning turn of events, Big Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson convinced the Louisiana Supreme Court to overturn a $258 million award against the J&J owned Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It’s a giant win for J&J, but a bitter pill to swallow for the affected parties.

Long story short:  Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc, markets an antipsychotic drug called Risperdal to those with bipolar disorders or schizophrenia. In some cases, male, teenage users of the drug developed gynecomastia, a disorder which caused them to develop enlarged breasts, among other effects (such as potential stroke, coma or diabetes). The state claimed that the company purposely downplayed the potential side- effects. By not being truthful about the side effects, it seems, lawyers were able to make an argument claiming the companies defrauded Louisiana’s Medicaid program.

In the end, however, the appeals decision was reversed, and J&J saved itself $258 million. The company was also awarded $70 million in attorneys’ fees and an additional $3 million in miscellaneous fees.

The Louisiana Supreme court wrote “Certainly the record contains no evidence that any doctor or healthcare provider knowingly committed malpractice based on the defendants’ improper marketing statements, and then submitted a claim for payment from medical assistance program funds.”

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