J&J Promoted Risperdal for Nursing Home Residents After FDA Warning

In a recent blog, our Baltimore, Maryland Nursing Home Attorneys discussed the complaint by the U.S. Justice Department against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), for paying illegal kickback payments in the millions to the massive drug pharmacy Omnicare, to increase sales of antipsychotic prescriptions drugs like Risperdal for nursing home patients suffering from dementia.

According to an article published last week on Bloomberg.com, J&J reportedly planned to reach the goal of selling over $3 million in sales of Risperdal to geriatric patients just a few months after they were told by federal regulators that the drug was falsely claimed by the company to be an effective and safe treatment for elderly patients and residents of nursing homes.

The article claims that J&J was told in 1999 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the materials the company was using to market to elderly patients did not properly reflect Risperdal’s health benefits and risks—and could affect the health and safety of elderly nursing home patients. According to new unsealed documents revealed in a Louisiana State lawsuit, the business plan for J&J for the following year planned for an increase in the market share of the drugs to for dementia patient sales, with unapproved use.

Officials in Louisiana claim in the lawsuit that J&J negligently marketed the drug Risperdal to vulnerable elderly patients for uses that were unapproved. The lawsuit accuses J&J of the “off-label” marketing of Risperdal, and is seeking millions of dollars in monetary reimbursement of the public funds that were spend on the drug. Ten states have sued J&J over the negligent marketing and sales practices of Risperdal.

According to federal law, a medical doctor is able to prescribe medicine that is FDA-approved, and proven to be effective for one health condition at the least. Bloomberg reports that drug companies are not permitted to promote drugs for usage that do not have FDA-approval. As of 2003, Risperdal was only approved for disorders considered to be psychotic, that included schizophrenia, a market limited to 1.1% of adults. J&J reportedly sought to sell Risperdal for dementia, mood and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, among others, selling to doctors, nursing homes, and Veteran’s Administration facilities, even though the drug has never received FDA approval for the treatment of dementia.

If you someone you know in a Maryland nursing facility has experienced nursing home negligence, or illegal chemical restraint that has led to personal injury, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC for a free consultation, so we can help you receive the personal injury compensation you are owed.

J&J Pushed Risperdal for Elderly After U.S. Warning, Files Show, Bloomberg, March 10, 2010
Has Johnson & Johnson’s Reputation Been Damaged?, The Street, January 21, 2010
Johnson & Johnson Fights Charges of Recalls and Kickbacks, Daily Finance, January 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS

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