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| 12 April 2012
An Arkansas judge slammed Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the parent company of subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, with a $1.2 billion dollar fine after Janssen was found to have engaged in deceptive marketing practices for its drug Risperdal, reports The New York Times.
Not only is the fine one of the largest monetary penalties ever levied upon a drug company, reports The Times, but it also opens the door for many subsequent lawsuits.
"Most attorneys general can do the math, and there's no reason for any state to settle if they can win really big numbers in court," said Patrick Burns of the group Taxpayers Against Fraud, to The Times.
While J&J said it planned to appeal the decision, the company is still facing similar lawsuits in a number of states. The Arkansas case only reflected the company's violations of Arkansas state Medicaid law-240,000 violations in all, reports The Times.
The lawsuits stem from what prosecutors describe as deceptive marketing of J&J's drug Risperdal, then marketed by Janssen.
"Prosecutors have accused J&J and Janssen of hiding the risks associated with Risperdal, which is approved to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and behavior problems in teenagers and children with autism," explained The Times.
"These two companies put profits before people, and they are rightfully being held responsible for their actions," Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in a statement.
The New York Times - J.&J. Fined $1.2 Billion in Drug Case
Pharma Times - J&J slapped with $1.1bn fine for deceptive Risperdal advertising
Bloomberg - J&J's Marketing of Risperdal Violated Law, Arkansas Jury Rules
Tags: $JNJ, Arkansas, Risperdal, Janssen, Lawsuit, Fine, Johnson & Johnson, Latest News, pharmaceutical, marketing, drug