Risperdal was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. Risperdal, an atypical anti-psychotic medication, is marketed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. While the medication has helped patients living with these conditions, the medication has also been prescribed for uses unapproved by the FDA. Moreover, plaintiffs are currently filing lawsuits against the manufacturer, alleging that the drug causes enlargement of the male breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. However, court records indicate that a Johnson & Johnson settlement has been reached to compensate those allegedly injured by the product. Contact a Risperdal lawsuit attorney with Attorney Group if you have questions about Risperdal or the Risperdal settlement.
Johnson & Johnson Settlement Third Largest in U.S. History
Court documents pertaining to the recent Johnson & Johnson settlement report that there are over 420 lawsuits currently pending against the company. These cases allege that patients suffered from injuries while taking Risperdal. However, the manufacturer recently agreed to pay billions of dollars to resolve both federal and state government claims that the company illegally marketed Risperdal, among other medications.
The first lawsuit alleging that the medication caused gynecomastia was settled by the manufacturer in September 2012. However, a $2.2 billion Johnson & Johnson settlement was reached to settle accusations that it marketed Risperdal to individuals for whom the medication was not intended including older adults, those with developmental disabilities and children.
The Johnson & Johnson settlement was announced on November 4, 2013 and is the third-largest pharmaceutical settlement in U.S. history. It is also the largest settlement in a recent number of lawsuits pertaining to the inappropriate or illegal marketing of antipsychotic and anti-seizure drugs to elderly patients who may be struggling with dementia. The government has allegedly been attempting to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for these actions for over 10 years as claims continued to mount that Risperdal was prescribed to help control behaviors in children and dementia in those living in nursing homes.
Those filing lawsuits against the manufacturer also claim that the drug did not perform as it was intended and that the company acted negligently and recklessly by placing the health of the elderly, the disabled and younger children and adolescents at risk for serious health complications and side effects. One of the most serious claims include gynecomastia, or the development of breasts in males. Such a diagnosis could lead to lifelong embarrassment and trauma for the child. Additionally, although gynecomastia is non-cancerous, corrective surgery may be required to remove the enlarged breasts.
While the drug first received FDA approval in 1993 to treat specific psychiatric disorders, Johnson & Johnson allegedly tried to promote the medication for use in older individuals diagnosed with dementia. Although the manufacturer was repeatedly rejected for such approval by the FDA, lawsuits allege that the manufacturer persisted and claimed that Risperdal could help to relieve the challenging symptoms of these patients including hostility, agitation, confusion and impulsiveness.
Evidence used in pending lawsuits includes a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006 which reported that adolescent boys taking the drug could suffer from an increase in levels of prolactin in the body, a condition that can cause gynecomastia. Researchers concluded that the medication should be prescribed with caution to children and adolescents, as the long-term effects including osteopenia, infertility, growth and pubertal delay have not yet been well documented.
Injured or Experiencing Severe Side Effects? We Can Help You
If you or someone you love have suffered from side effects or complications while taking Risperdal and you have questions about the Johnson & Johnson settlement or any other pharmaceutical lawsuits, contact Attorney Group at no cost or obligation. We can answer questions you have, as well as connect you with a Risperdal lawsuit attorney that can handle your case.