Risperdal lawsuits are highly sensitive because the plaintiffs involved here are psychologically compromised young boys.
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication that is believed to have caused mental and physical trauma and torture to young boys who grew breasts (gynecomastia), many of those who chose to a surgical remedy to remove excess breast tissue. Either way, gynecomastia can cause a long-lasting negative effect on social and mental functioning.
One favorable verdict for the plaintiffs can set the ball rolling for the other cases. However, it is also true that each case is unique. So far, defendant Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, has lost in four of the eight cases that have gone to trial so far.
Risperdal (risperidone) manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 only for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Later, it was also approved for treatment of bipolar I disorder in children and adults, irritable dementia in the elderly, and autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents. Gynecomastia, early onset puberty, tardive dyskinesia, type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, death, floppy iris syndrome are some of the major side effects that are associated with this antipsychotic medication.
Research unveils facts that, as early as 2002, Johnson & Johnson marketed Risperdal to doctors who treated children prior to getting FDA approval of its use for that age group. This factor contributed to a stupendous rise in sales along with a parallel projection of Risperdal as a safer alternative as compared to the other market options. The Risperdal sales generated nearly $4.5 billion for the company during those times.
In 2006, scientific studies pointed out the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia including the fact that Risperdal complications were higher than the other market alternatives. Although J&J still denies these serious allegations, it is settling some Risperdal cases as it cannot deny the fact that approval for autistic disorder came only in 2006, and the approval for treatment of bipolar I disorder in children and adolescent schizophrenia came in 2007. This was also coupled with the 2008 report published in The Wall Street Journal that asserted Risperdal stimulated the production of prolactin in boys eventually leading to enlarged breast tissues.
The awareness brought about by related studies and patients resulted in the filing of the first lawsuit by six boys for gynecomastia in 2008, against J&J. The company settled a case in 2010 on the first day of trial. That case, which was filed by a 21-year-old-man, alleged physical and emotional trauma due to Risperdal. As more and more research studies were brought forth, in 2013 the Department of Justice began an investigation to determine whether or not the manufacturer had adequate labeling on the product. J&J finally pleaded guilty in November 2013 to the aggressive marketing of Risperdal for off-label uses and paying kickbacks to physicians and agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines.
After the most recent verdict of $70 million in favor of the plaintiff, J&J canceled the tolling agreements. A tolling agreement imposes a pause on the statute of limitations to give potential claimants the chance to file legal action. This unilateral cancellation by J&J has resulted in thousands of cases being filed in addition to MDL Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case No: 100300296, at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
By now, it is a well-known fact that the J&J has paid in billions in Risperdal settlements and fines. On the other hand, it has released its first-quarter sales report of $17.8 billion as of April 2017, a 1.6% increase from its 2016 value which is a puzzling situation. Comparing the benefits of this drug with the distress it has caused to young and already suffering children is a debate, but to say that this litigation is far from over would be an understatement.
This article was submitted by Neural IT. Neural IT provides cost effective and timely medical reviews for screening potential mass tort cases. For more information, please visit www.neuralit.com. You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-844-NIT-TEAM (648-8326).