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Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion

Ohioans who have taken prescription medications know that they can sometimes be difficult to understand take accurately, especially if a medication has a complicated schedule. In times when you're relying on a physician or pharmacist, you wouldn't want to think about medication errors taking place, but unfortunately, they do. In one recent case, Johnson & Johnson, a well-known company, was charged with promoting a drug for unapproved uses.

When taking medications, you're not likely to see any positive effects if it's not the right drug for your needs. The allegations of promotional methods that made powerful psychotic drugs seem appropriate for children, the elderly and for disabled patients have now led to Johnson & Johnson settling for a $2.2 billion payout to resolve the case. The Justice Department believes, according to a report from Nov. 04, that Johnson & Johnson used illegal marketing tactics and offered kickbacks that would hopefully persuade pharmacists and physicians to offer Invega and Risperdal, antipsychotic drugs, and Natrecor, a heart medication, to patients.

The medication Risperdal has been approved for use in patients with schizophrenia since 1993, according to the FDA, but Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical, has admitted that it promoted the drug's use for the control of behavior in the elderly patients who had dementia. Unfortunately, this drug is not able to be used for those patients because of the higher risk of stroke and death.

Janssen Pharmaceutical has also allegedly plead guilty to violating marketing laws for drugs and must pay $400 million in forfeited sales and fines, according to the report.

Drug errors like these could cause serious harm to patients, and you have a right to know all the truths about a drug before you take it. If you've been harmed because you were misled into taking a drug you thought was safe, you might want to look into your legal options.

StarTribune, "DOJ reaches $2.2B settlement with J&J to resolve unapproved drug marketing" Matthew Perrone, Nov. 04, 2013

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