(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson, which paid more than $2 billion to resolve a criminal probe over its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, knew the medicine caused boys to develop female breasts and failed to alert regulators, doctors and patients, a lawyer argued.
J&J kept quiet about research showing Risperdal caused abnormal breast development in boys to protect billions of dollars in sales of the drug, an attorney for the parents of an autistic man who developed size 46 DD breasts while on the medicine told a jury Friday. J&J misled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the antipsychotic’s safety, he added.
“All of you know something the FDA still doesn’t know and that is the increased statistical risk of kids on Risperdal” developing abnormal breasts, the lawyer, Thomas Kline, told jurors during closing statements at a Philadelphia trial over the drugmaker’s handling of the product.
J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, faces more than 1,000 cases over the Risperdal side effect in state court in Philadelphia. The current case is the first in which a jury will decide whether J&J and its Janssen unit are liable for mishandling the medicine.
In 2012, the company settled the first case to go to trial in Philadelphia over claims Risperdal caused gynecomastia, or abnormal breast development, and has settled at least five other cases over allegations involving the drug.