The antipsychotic drug Risperdal has been on the market since 1994, but has made headlines in the past few months after troubling news of false marketing charges, side effect lawsuits and claims of safety data cover-ups by manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Here, DrugRisk summarizes the latest info patients need to know, as well as what help is available for those injured.
Risperdal was originally approved by the FDA to treat major conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, federal authorities charged J&J with marketing it for unapproved purposes, resulting in a $2.2 billion fine for the company.
Part of the false marketing allegations surrounded drug reps for J&J encouraging doctors to prescribe Risperdal for less-severe conditions like ADHD in children.
Now, studies have linked Risperdal to gynecomastia, or abnormal breast growth, in young men and boys. Also, researchers found that children may be three times as likely to develop type II diabetes after using drugs like Risperdal.
These devastating side effects are affecting many children who never should have been prescribed the drug to begin with, except J&J saw them as a way to increase profits.
The abnormal breast growth from gynecomastia can be traumatic to boys and young men. It can also cause the production of milk in some cases and require surgery to correct. Children have suffered breast growth as large as D cup sizes.
Already, hundreds of families have filed suit against Janssen and parent company J&J over these Risperdal breast growth side effects. Cases in a special Pennsylvania court have been scheduled for trial, however, J&J has paid settlements to many rather than face public scrutiny.
Recently, a new lawsuit involving breast growth in a 7 year-old boy was filed in federal court, meaning the verdict could be nationally binding. DrugRisk is monitoring the litigation to see if this leads to a widespread settlement.
Finally, J&J has asked the court to keep certain data from early Risperdal clinical trials sealed during the lawsuits. Victims are asking the court to unseal this information, arguing that it is relevant to whether J&J failed to warn of dangers it had knowledge of. They also point out that it could serve to warn future patients.
Lawyers continue to help those affected by Risperdal seek compensation. If your child suffered breast growth or produced milk while on the drug, or developed diabetes, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. It costs nothing to get advice or file a claim.
DrugRisk only recommends lawyers who have already handled Risperdal lawsuits, due to the complexity of these cases. Contact us today for more information or to speak with a lawyer.