New Mexico Sues Maker of Risperdal

Albuquerque Journal
By Scott Sandlin

… According to the lawsuit:

Janssen got FDA approval to market Risperdal oral tablets for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1993 and for variations to treat bipolar disorder in 2003. But the drug has shown a propensity for its users to gain weight, have movement disorders and other health problems, including diabetes.

Since its launch, the maker has “engaged in widespread fraudulent statements and conduct, and pervasive false and misleading marketing, advertising and promotion.” The maker failed to warn and misled physicians, consumers and the state regarding its adverse effects.

The maker actively marketed the drug for uses in several populations where its safety had not been established, such as people with sleep disorders, elderly patients with dementia and patients with depressive or mood disorders.

The alleged scheme was carried out by directly soliciting physicians to prescribe it by giving false information to them and to pharmacists, including the development of deceptive and misleading medical literature and funding of questionable scientific literature.

One marketing plan used company-funded events at which doctors selected, trained and approved by Janssen would falsely oversell Risperdal’s safety and effectiveness, according to the complaint.

The strategy worked, making more than two-thirds of all dollars spent on Risperdal going for nonmedically necessary uses and making the drug the mostly widely used antipsychotic of its type in the world, with sales skyrocketing to $3.5 billion in 2005.

The lawsuit was filed for the Attorney General’s Office in the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe by a Houston civil litigation firm, Bailey Perrin Bailey, which specializes in lawsuits over the new generation of antipsychotic drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. The firm represents other states in lawsuits over Risperdal, including one filed in Pennsylvania state court in February.

The lawsuit is the second time in two years the state has sued a drugmaker raising questions about state obligations under federal Medicaid law, as Janssen attorney Douglas Schneebeck of the Modrall law firm noted in removing the lawsuit to federal court.


1 Comment

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One response to “New Mexico Sues Maker of Risperdal

  1. Martin Ridens

    My children were taken by the state of New Mexico from my ex-wife and spent over a year being proscribed Abilify, Risperdol, Seroquel, and Zyprexa in doses I tried to complain were way too high.

    When I finally got custody of my children back they had significant changes. Before my ex got custody and then lost my kids to the state they were both at the very highest end of the academic spectrum. They were very advanced and considered highly intelligent. After over a year in state custody and taking high doses of these anti-psychotics they are now near the bottom of the spectrum and having difficulty in all their studies.

    I need to hire tutors now just to barely keep them up to speed with their grade level. Where is the justice for the poor families and children who have truly suffered from the criminal activities of these drug companies.

    New Mexico isn’t going to give me any compensation for the problems their foster care system caused my children. I went to several of the appointments they had with the “psychiatrist” who was proscribing them these terrible “medications”. She always started by asking the foster mother if the kids needed higher doses or any more meds. I was appalled but always snickered at by the CYFD caseworkers when I brought up the issue.

    I could use some help if anyone out there is considering a class action suit for the people who have truly suffered instead of letting the states take everything.


    Martin G. Ridens
    (505) 601-7326

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