Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Arkansas Unleashes The Razorbacks on Risperdal

As documented at Furious Seasons, the state of Arkansas has leveled some very serious allegations at Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of Risperdal via its subsidiary Janssen. Furious Seasons was kind enough to post a copy of the lawsuit. Here's a partial listing of the allegations:
  • J & J hid the extrapyramidal side effects of the medication through conducting scientifically bogus studies which covered up the risks of Risperdal
  • J & J marketed Risperdal off-label for such conditions as ADHD, depression, anxiety, and aggression associated with dementia
  • J & J falsely represented Risperdal as cheaper and more effective than older antipsychotics
  • J & J did not represent their own knowledge that Risperdal is associated with weight gain
  • J & J offered kickbacks to physicians to prescribe Risperdal for "non-medically necessary" uses
The lawsuit makes for interesting and inflammatory reading. Keep a couple of things in mind when considering these charges
  • Zyprexa was clearly marketed off-label for various conditions (1, 2, 3)
  • It seems that Lilly was involved in hiding the risks associated with Zyprexa (1, 2)
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb just settled a large lawsuit, partially regarding claims that it promoted Abilify off-label
  • Take a look at a couple studies (1, 2) that were designed to encourage off-label prescription of antipsychotics as well as a "scientific review" of relevant literature on antipsychotic off-label use.
  • And of course, there are several states (I've lost count of exactly how many) that are suing Lilly for its promotion of Zyprexa and its alleged concealment of risks associated with the drug.
I don't know about you, but I think I'm seeing a pattern emerging here. And while we're talking about weight gain, diabetes and the like, I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

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