Arkansas court tosses $1.2B judgment against Johnson & Johnson in Risperdal case

  • Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:32 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas Supreme Court has thrown out a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit challenging its marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

The Thursday ruling comes in an appeal of lawsuit filed by Arkansas against the drugmaker and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The state says the companies didn't properly communicate the drug's risks and marketed it for off-label use, calling the practices fraudulent.

Johnson & Johnson said there was no fraud and Arkansas' Medicaid program wasn't harmed.

The state Supreme Court ruled that the law the state sued under was improperly applied because it governs health care facilities, which the drug-maker isn't.

Risperdal and similar antipsychotic drugs have been linked to increased risk of strokes and death in elderly patients, along with seizures, weight gain and diabetes.

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