Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary have to pay for the way it marketed antipsychotic drug Risperdal, neglecting to mention its side effects while claiming it was safer and worked better than the competition. In Arkansas, one of 11 states in which J&J has faced legal battles over the drug, a judge ordered the company to pay $1.2 billion to make up for its alleged sins.
CNNMoney reports the companies’ allegedly deceptive practices caused government-subsidized healthcare services to pay for the drug, which is believed to put patients at risk of diabetes and neurological problems. The case is based on a 2007 complaint.
The judge tabulated the penalty by charging $5,000 for each of the 239,000 prescriptions ordered, as well as $2,500 for each of the 4,600 mailings sent to medical workers.
The firms are asking for a new trial and will appeal if that request is denied. It seems that what Johnson & Johnson really needs right now is some headache medicine.