Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion to settle federal charges of improper sales and kickbacks

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 BILLION to resolve state and federal charges of improper selling of prescription drugs for uses other than approved uses by the FDA and for paying kickbacks to doctors and a pharmacy to increase sales.

The settlement is the largest of its kind for health care and relates to sales of Risperdal, approved for use by the FDA for schizophrenia but marketed by J&J’s subsidiary to treat elderly dementia patients to treat symptoms of anxiety, agitation, depression and confusion. The government investigation revealed that Janssen, the subsidiary, emphasized symptoms and minimized any mention of the FDA approved use for schizophrenia.

The company also promoted the drug for use in children and the government said the company knew it posed special health risks for children. The company instructed its representatives to call on child psychiatrists and to market Risperdal as safe and effective for symptoms of various childhood disorders. The drugs was not approved for use in children for any purpose.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.