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Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion for illegal drug marketing

November 04, 2013|By Ricardo Lopez
  • Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal charges that it illegally marketed three drugs, including Risperdal.
Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal… (JB Reed / Bloomberg )

Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines for marketing drugs Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor for uses they weren't approved for, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.

The settlement, one the largest settlements of its kind, also covers charges that the company paid kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies promoting the drugs, the Justice Department said. 

“The conduct at issue in this case jeopardized the health and safety of patients and damaged the public trust,” said Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in a statement. 

In criminal filings Monday, the Justice Department said Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, marketed Risperdal for unapproved uses. The drug, approved to treat only schizophrenia, was marketed to also treat anxiety, agitation, depression and other symptoms, the Justice Department said. 

Janssen also created sales brochures emphasizing the unapproved uses and minimized the mention of approved use for schizophrenia, the Justice Department said. 

The Johnson & Johnson subsidiary will pay $400 million for the illegal marketing, officials said.

"Today we reached closure on complex legal matters spanning almost a decade," said Michael Ullmann, vice president and general counsel for Johnson & Johnson. "We remain committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and others to ensure greater clarity around the guidance for pharmaceutical industry practices and standards.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $1.7 billion to settle civil cases with the federal government and 45 states. 

The company will also be subjected to requirements under a so-called Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services offices. The agreement is intended to increase accountability, transparency and to prevent future fraud and abuse. 


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