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Improper marketing techniques lead Johnson & Johnson to $181m settlement

When people in Florida think of Johnson & Johnson they think of "a family company," who has brought us such notable products as Tylenol, Listerine, and Band-Aids. What we don't generally think of is a company that improperly markets medicines for unapproved uses.

But according to several fraud claims in 36 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia, this is exactly what Johnson & Johnson allegedly did when it marketed its antipsychotic drug Risperdal to nursing homes across the nation.

According to complaints, doctors claim that Johnson & Johnson promoted the drug to them as being "better and safer than rival therapies," also claiming that the company marketed the drug for unapproved use for children and the elderly.

Late this August, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $181 million to settle the fraud claims stating that they have chosen this path to achieve a prompt and full resolution.

According to statements released by Johnson & Johnson, the company was prepared for the most recent round of lawsuits because of the previous costly court setbacks they encountered earlier this summer. The company has already settled similar cases in several other states and has even had claims brought by West Virginia, involving Risperdal sales practices, dismissed in court.

Johnson & Johnson seems to want to continue to prove that they are "a family company" and that they are sincere about providing consumers with the best and safest possible product. They said that they would no longer promote any of its newer antipsychotic medicines for off-label uses or make any false or misleading claims related to those products.

Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight, "J&J to pay $181 mln to settle improper marketing claims," Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson, Aug. 30, 2012

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