Tennessee settles Risperdal marketing case

Aug. 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM
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NASHVILLE, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Thirty-six U.S. states have reached a $181 million settlement with a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary regarding the illegal marketing of an anti-psychotic drugs.

The settlement, announced by the Tennessee attorney general's office, is the largest ever multistate consumer protection agreement with a drug company charged with illegal marketing practices.

The subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., allegedly marketed anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal, Risperdal Consta, Risperdal M-Tab and Invega for what are called "off-label" uses -- conditions for which these drugs were not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration.

The company promoted the drugs for use to combat depression, anxiety, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, even though they did not have FDA approval for those uses, the attorneys general charged.

Besides the payment, the company also agreed to a sizable list of marketing concessions including communicating clearly of the risks and rewards of using these drugs and a ban on using only selected symptoms in its promotional pitches.

In addition the company was ordered to use "scientifically trained personnel, rather than its sales and marketing personnel, to develop the medical content of scientific communications."

Any medical educators promoting the drugs must disclose their connection to the company and no financial incentives can be offered to sales staff for promoting the drugs for off-label uses.

"My office is pleased to resolve these allegations. We will continue our efforts to stop deceptive marketing," Tennessee Attorney General Cooper said in a statement.

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