Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) lost a bid to have a Louisiana appeals court throw out an award of almost $258 million that a jury ordered it to pay state officials over the marketing of its Risperdal antipsychotic drug.
A state appeals court in Lake Charles, Louisiana, today rejected J&J’s claims that it was unfairly barred from defending itself against allegations that its Janssen unit defrauded the state’s Medicaid program by misleading regulators and residents about Risperdal’s health risks.
“We find that the trial court was not manifestly erroneous in casting Janssen with civil monetary penalties, attorney fees, and costs for its violations” of Louisiana’s Medicaid fraud laws, the appellate court said in a 32-page ruling.
The ruling comes a day after New Brunswick, New Jersey- based J&J and Janssen agreed to pay $181 million to resolve claims by 36 states that they improperly marketed and advertised Risperdal and Invega, another antipsychotic medicine.
Janssen intends to appeal the decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Teresa Mueller, a J&J spokeswoman, said in an e- mailed statement.
Promotional materials for Risperdal (risperidone), an atypical antipsychotic medication, is drawing ire from some in the medical blogosphere. Kevin, M.D.: ” a new low, drug marketing on children’s toys.” Pharmalot: “Keep in mind that, as of last October, Risperdal is approved for kids showing autistic symptoms. So perhaps we should expect to see all manner of playthings with the drug’s brand name. How about a ‘Doctor Barbie’ with Risperdal samples?” Medgadget: “Drugs are booooring… We do like the Legos though.”