Johnson & Johnson could be on the hook for about $1 billion to settle the government probe into its Risperdal marketing. Prosecutors are looking for a settlement about that size, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. That would be the third-largest marketing settlement between a Big Pharma company and the U.S. government; only Pfizer and Eli Lilly have made larger deals with the feds.
Earlier this week, J&J disclosed to the SEC that it had set aside an unspecified amount to cover a potential Risperdal settlement. The company had already taken a $1.4 billion charge against first-quarter earnings to cover legal costs.
The WSJ says J&J officials were surprised that prosecutors were pressing for such a large settlement. Prosecutors are trying to put a settlement of Risperdal marketing claims into context, using as a benchmark Lilly's $1.4 billion deal to resolve a Zyprexa marketing probe. The difference between the two was that Lilly's alleged violations extended over a longer period of time, the WSJ source said. The particular allegations against J&J haven't been disclosed.
The Justice Department has settled a number of marketing cases against Big Pharma over the last several years, and the pace of those deals increased last year. Drugmakers together have paid more than $10 billion to settle government probes; in 2010, the industry's whistleblower settlements topped the Justice Department charts.
- see the WSJ story
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Thank You Fierce Pharma and Ms Staton
A Billion here, and a Billion there, and at some point you're talking real money, ...... however, ..... this article raises a few of the hairs on the back of our neck.
Remember the FDA's recent snatch at Preemption?
If Federal prosecutors want to charge J&J another Billion on Top of what the State AGs are suing them for, ...... Great, Wonderful.
However, ..... we're hoping that this Federal Fine won't end up containing some idiot Preemption agreement that says, "There, that's an end of it. The matter's settled so all you State AGs can just go home and not worry about it any more."
It took the State of Texas 6 Years to get a ruling that these marketing violations could go before a jury, and we do NOT want to see them get shut out.
Remember just Who it was that went flat out to dump even More of these killer chemicals into America's lap.