Monthly Archives: November 2007

Ark. AG files suit over marketing of anti-psychotic drug

The Associated Press

By ANDREW DeMILLO

Drug companies improperly marketed an anti-psychotic drug, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel claimed Tuesday as he asked a state judge to force the firms to repay millions shelled out by the state’s Medicaid program for unnecessary prescriptions.

McDaniel filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc.,

Janssen LP and Johnson & Johnson Inc. In the filing, McDaniel said the companies “engaged in a direct, illegal, nationwide program of promotion of the use of Risperdal for non-medically necessary uses.”

New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of both Janssen Pharmaceutica and Janssen LP.

The lawsuit did not specify how much the state is seeking, but McDaniel has estimated that the state’s Medicaid program spent about $200 million over eight years to pay for prescriptions for Zyprexa, Seroquel and Risperdal. The lawsuit filed Tuesday focuses solely on Risperdal…

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Dementia relief, with a huge side effect – The off-label use of some drugs is helping elderly patients, but may be killing thousands.

St. Petersburg Times

By KRIS HUNDLEY

Two years ago, federal regulators sounded a dire warning: Elderly people with dementia who take drugs like Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa could suffer the ultimate side effect.

They could die.

Yet today, about one in four nursing home residents still take these antipsychotic drugs. Sales to the elderly continue to rise, generating a total of $13-billion in revenues for their manufacturers this year.

The disconnect between government warnings about the increased risk of death and physician prescribing practices led a prominent Food and Drug Administration safety expert to make a stunning estimate.

Dr. David Graham, who had blown the whistle on the dangers of Vioxx, was back before a congressional panel in February. He testified that Zyprexa and other antipsychotics kill about 15,000 nursing home residents each year…

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