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Senators probe J&J payments

November 06, 2008|times wire services

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have asked Johnson & Johnson to provide information about its payments to physicians as part of a widening investigation into drug makers' influence. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company said the two powerful lawmakers were probing its ties to psychiatrists.

Johnson & Johnson markets Risperdal, which is prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The senators also requested information about J&J's relationship with doctors who use its Cypher drug-coated stent to prop open arteries, according to a regulatory filing.

In October, Grassley and Kohl questioned Columbia University about cardiology professors who received consulting payments from companies that market stents, including Medtronic Inc., Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson.

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