Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Medical | By

Johnson & Johnson told to pay $8bn to man over unwanted breast growth

Johnson & Johnson told to pay $8bn to man over unwanted breast growth

Nicholas Murray, a Maryland resident, has alleged in his lawsuit that after taking their drug Risperdal from 2003 to 2008, he developed gynecomastia, a condition which caused him to grow breasts.

The World Health Organization includes risperidone, the chemical name for Risperdal, on its list of "essential medicines", meaning the drug is "one of the minimum medicines needed for a basic healthcare system".

It is also the latest in a series of costly legal setbacks for J&J in a slew of lawsuits alleging injuries from products and other claims.

"(Johnson & Johnson is) a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients", they said in a statement. 'Johnson &Johnson and (subsidiary) Janssen chose billions over children'.

"A jury, if it's outrageous enough conduct, will award a big number and let the lawyers and judges work it out", he said.

Last year, a St. Louis found J&J should pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who blamed ovarian-cancer cases on use of the company's baby powder.

Responding at the time to accusations that it inappropriately marketed the drug to children, J&J said Janssen "did not direct sales representatives to promote Risperdal for use in children or adolescents, and it did not approve sales materials aimed at treating children or adolescents".

However, Johnson & Johnson have responded to the suit to say the payout was "grossly disproportionate" and that it was "confident" the decision will be overturned at appeal.

"The kind of evidence in this trial may persuade another jury or judge to do something similar", he said.

The drug was initially used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but was expanded to treat autism.

They are also appealing a ruling made previous year that required the drug company to $4.7bn to 22 USA women who alleged that the company's talcum powder led them to develop ovarian cancer as a result of asbestos contamination.

A state appeals court upheld the verdict in February 2018 but reduced it to $680,000.

Johnson & Johnson said the court's exclusion of key evidence left it unable to present a meaningful defence, including what they said was a drug label that "clearly and appropriately outlined the risks associated with the medicine" or Risperdal's benefits for patients with serious mental illness.

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