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.

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4 Responses

  1. whoops , that was me, hit the reply button. I was going to say a good piece anyway. Take care…..

    • Thanks, Susan. I got the message you relayed on facebook, and I made the correction. Whew! What would I ever do without my ghost copy-editors?

  2. RE”not proper uses for psychiatric drugs”
    But it gets the job done for the lowest cost.

    • Improper use does real harm to children and young people, and it kills old folks. Proper use is an underhanded joke; it still does harm to people labeled with psychosis, but the FDA has approved it for use on them. Harming people labeled “mentally ill” is thought “acceptable”, a standard practice. I don’t think anybody should be forced to take these chemical compounds against their will and wishes. They are ineffective, they are unsafe, and what you’ve got there is essientially a social controll agent–a pacifier–developed to make life easier for the staff that work on psych wards. This pacifier is laced with a toxic substance though, and people who end up on the psych ward need to know that it isn’t the equal of the sugar pill that it is often cracked up to be.

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