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Massachusetts Sues Johnson and Johnson

Bloomberg covered a story of the kind that I’d like to see more of in this nation, Massachusetts Sues J & J Over Risperdal Marketing Practices. Yes, that’s right. A state is suing a drug company over its fundamentally illegal marketing practices. Here’s a case of a drug company potentially getting penalized for the illegal practice of promoting so called ‘off label’ drugging. It’s illegal. Why didn’t the feds think of that?

Massachusetts’s attorney general sued Johnson Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen unit for improper marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.

Improper marketing is illegal marketing. Killing the elderly and incapacitating or doping up the young are not proper uses for psychiatric drugs.

The company marketed the drug as a treatment for dementia in the elderly and a way to ease various ailments of younger people when those uses hadn’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Attorney General Martha Coakley said today in a statement.

Risperal, a neuroleptic drug, is the sort of drug approved for use in the treatment of psychosis. While it has been approved for the treatment of psychosis in adults, it has been used for all sorts’ unapproved purposes on young people from ADHD treatment to conduct management. It has also been shown to put elderly patients with dementia at risk for an untimely and early death.

You may be asking why a drug company would resort to illegal marketing practices?

“Janssen’s illegal marketing and sales tactics helped the company generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales in the Commonwealth,” the complaint states.

Attorney generals from other states should wake up, and consider adopting a good guy role of the sort that Massachusett Attorney General Martha Coakley assumed. While I say that, should an attorney general not take action, it’s always a good time for private citizens to act in the interests of protecting their state’s citizens from the predatory practices of these pharmaceutical companies. When we don’t go after these companies, they literally get away with murder, and not just murder, but multiple murders, time and time again.