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Johnson & Johnson Faces Trial in Risperdal® Breast-Development Case

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will face trial to defend itself against claims that its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal®, causes gynecomastia, a condition that causes young boys and males to grow breasts.

The lawsuit, brought in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, involves a boy who ingested Risperdal®  at the age of 8 and subsequently suffered from gynecomastia. The boy, now 20, had to undergo a double mastectomy to repair the damage.

Plaintiffs allege that the drugmaker illegally marketed Risperdal® for use in young boys and that it failed to sufficiently warn them of the possibility of developing breasts. J&J’s off-label marketing tactics also prompted consumer protection regulators in 36 states to file lawsuits against the drugmaker.

In August 2012, the parties reached an agreement to settle the claims of misconduct for $181 million. Texas also settled with J&J in 2012 for $159 million. Two years later, Montana reached an agreement with J&J totaling $5.9 million.

J&J marketed Risperdal® worldwide and made approximately $24 billion in sales from 2003 to 2010. The drug company faces a multitude of lawsuits  involving Risperdal®, and experts anticipate the already 1,000 pending Philadelphia state court cases to grow.

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