McGrath files suit against 2 drug firms

Billings Gazette

By CHARLES S. JOHNSON

HELENA – Attorney General Mike McGrath has sued two national pharmaceutical companies and accused them of manufacturing certain prescription drugs that were “in defective condition and unreasonably dangerous.”

McGrath filed the complaint in state district court in Helena on Wednesday against Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP over the prescription drugs Risperdal and Seroquel. The medicines were intended to treat adult schizophrenia and provide short-term treatment of acute mania associated with bipolar disorder.

He charged that the two companies “‘have engaged in false and misleading marketing, advertising and sales campaigns to promote these drugs for nonmedically indicated uses.” McGrath said the companies “successfully deceived physicians, citizen-users and others in the medical community” about the safety of these drugs compared with other antipsychotic drugs to carve out a greater share of the market.

Such promotion of the two atypical antipsychotic drugs have led to some Montanans who have faced “serious injuries, illnesses, diseases or death,” McGrath said. A spokesman for AstraZeneca said the company would have no comment on the lawsuit until it had a chance to review McGrath’s complaint. The State Bureau was unable to reach a spokesman for Janssen…

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