"Yet another state has filed a lawsuit alleging that Johnson & Johnson illegally marketed its Risperdal antipsychotic to the detriment of its citizens. This time, Massachusetts alleges J&J promoted the drug to treat elderly dementia and various unapproved uses in children and adolescents. The state also claims J&J failed to disclose serious risks such as the possibility of excessive weight gain, diabetes and, for elderly dementia patients, an increased risk of death.
“Manufacturers should not promote uses of their pharmaceutical products that have not been established to be safe and effective,” Massachusetts Attorney General Coakley says in a statement. “Janssen put profits ahead of patient safety by promoting Risperdal for uses that had not been approved and by failing to disclose serious risks associated with Risperdal’s use.”
The state also charged the health care giant with making misleading and deceptive statements to prescribers about Risperdal safety, especially such side effects as weight gain and developing diabetes; paying docs to participate in “sham consulting programs” that were “thinly disguised” marketing programs touting unapproved uses; and targeting docs who rarely, if ever, prescribed Risperdal for FDA-approved uses which are schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder (read the lawsuit here)."