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Risperdal Marketing Trial Ends with $327 Million Judgment | cialis online

Risperdal Marketing Trial Ends with $327 Million Judgment

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A judge ordered Ortho-McNeil-Janssen to pay $327 million in damages for deceptively marketing the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. A South Carolina jury found the company’s marketing practices violated the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Following a three-week jury trial, Circuit Court Judge Roger Couch issued a verdict believed to be the largest in S.C. history for a company in violation of the Act and the largest brought against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.

The order amount $327,073,700 was based on the number of times Janssen “published a package label or insert for the anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal, and for the number of ‘dear doctor’ letters mailed and number of sales calls where the letter was published,” reported

In November 2003, Janssen issued “dear doctor” letters as an effort to “manipulate the message” about the drug, sending 7,148 to physicians while company salespersons provided 36,372 during sale calls, reported Bloomberg. The company also distributed 509,499 package labels with sample boxes. Judge Couch levied a $4,000 fine for each “dear doctor” violation which totaled $174,224,000 and a $300 fine for each package label totaling $152,849,700.

Attorneys involved with the case said the verdict amount will pay for attorney fees and costs and the remainder will go to the state.

“We are pleased with the jury’s findings in this case, and believe the penalty now imposed by the Court to be appropriate,” said Alan Wilson, South Carolina Attorney General, in an e-mail statement.

Judge Couch believes the verdict will force Janssen to correct their deceptive marketing practices. From 1994 to 2010, annual sales of Risperdal were $29.7 billion and the profit margin for sales was 97 percent ($28.90 billion) for the same time period, noted the judge.

The judge also felt Janssen should have strengthened the label warning concerning side effects such as “diabetes, hyperglycemia and weight gain and that patients may have an increased risk of hyperprolactinemia (which can cause premature female menstrual cycles and lactation in boys) and there was a growing risk of cardiovascular problems in the elderly,” reported

Janssen disagrees with the ruling and plans to appeal, stated company representatives.

Kara Russell, a Janssen spokeswoman, said “the company acted responsibly and believes it did not violate the South Carolina Trade Practices Act. Among other concerns, we don’t believe that the dissemination of an FDA approved package insert constitutes a violation of the South Carolina Trade Practices Act. We do not believe the ruling can be upheld on appeal.”

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