Tag Archives: Janssen

Ohio attorney general sues 5 pharmaceutical companies over opioid epidemic


The Ohio attorney general has filed a lawsuit against five leading prescription opioid manufacturers, alleging that the companies intentionally misled patients regarding the risks and benefits of opioid use with fraudulent marketing.

Attorney General Mike DeWine accused the companies of leading patients to believe that opioids were not addictive, which the lawsuit says fueled the current opioid epidemic in Ohio.

“We believe the evidence will also show that these companies got thousands and thousands of Ohioans — our friends, our family members, our co-workers, our kids — addicted to opioid pain medications, which has all too often led to use of the cheaper alternatives of heroin and synthetic opioids,” DeWine said in a statement. “These drug manufacturers led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive, that addiction was an easy thing to overcome, or that addiction could actually be treated by taking even more opioids.”

The five manufacturers listed in the lawsuit, filed in the Ross County Court of Common Pleas, are Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan.

The lawsuit was filed in Ross County since Southern Ohio was the area hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic, the press release states. A record of 3,050 people in Ohio died from drug overdose in 2015, The Associated Press reported. That figure is expected to rise significantly once the 2016 figures have been tallied, according to the AP.

The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and created a “public nuisance by disseminating false and misleading statements about the risks and benefits of opioids.”

Full Read –Β http://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-attorney-general-sues-pharmaceutical-companies-opioid-epidemic/story?id=47750198

Time for J&J to pay up in $124M Risperdal case as SCOTUS deflects final appeal

January 11, 2016 | By

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) fell short Monday in its final effort to escape a Risperdal marketing penalty in South Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up J&J’s last appeal in the case, putting the company on the hook for a $124 million penalty.

J&J had cited the Eighth Amendment in arguing against the penalty, saying it qualified as an “excessive fine.” As Reuters notes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had backed the drugmaker in seeking Supreme Court review.

J&J’s Janssen unit has been fighting South Carolina’s deceptive trade practices court win since 2011, when a jury ordered the drugmaker to pay $327 million for Risperdal marketing violations. The company succeeded in lowering the judgment twice, first to $136 million and then, last year, to the final $124 million.

The lawsuit centered on promotional materials Janssen used to market the antipsychotic drug. Key to the case was a letter sent to South Carolina physicians, which overstated Risperdal’s benefits compared with other drugs in its class and downplayed side effects, the jury found. The trial court judge ordered Janssen to pay about $4,000 for each of the more than 7,000 letters mailed.

The original $327 million judgment dwarfed other similar rulings in drug-marketing lawsuits, including sizable decisions and settlements in other Risperdal-related litigation, but it fell far short of a $1.2 billion verdict in Arkansas. The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down that judgment in March 2014, and the company later negotiated a settlement of $7.5 million.

The South Carolina decision survived that state’s top court in a ruling last year, in which Justice John Kittredge backed the decision at trial, but lowered the $327 million penalty to $136 million.

In affirming the judgment against the company, Kittredge echoed the trial judge’s “profit-at-all-costs” characterization of Janssen’s marketing efforts. “Janssen’s desire for market share and increased sales knew no bounds, leading to its egregious violation of South Carolina law,” Kittredge wrote in the February 2015 ruling.

Janssen had argued that it did not intentionally deceive doctors with the now-notorious “Risperdal letter” that has featured in several state-court lawsuits. The drugmaker also contended that South Carolina’s attorney general didn’t prove patients were actually harmed by the drug. It was on that point that Kittredge lowered the judgment.

The “Risperdal letter” lawsuits compose only part of the mountain of litigation J&J has fought over the antipsychotic drug. The company agreed to pay $2.2 billion in a marketing settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and a group of states.

And the litigation isn’t over yet. The company now faces more than 1,000 lawsuits over Risperdal’s ability to trigger breast development in boys. J&J lost the first court battle last February, as a Philadelphia jury ordered J&J to pay almost $2.5 million to a young man who developed breasts while using Risperdal. In November, another jury awarded $1.75 million in a similar case.

Read Full Article –Β http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/time-jj-pay-124m-risperdal-case-scotus-deflects-final-appeal/2016-01-11