A recent lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals ended with a $70 million loss to the company. The lawsuit alleges the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused the growing of breasts in male users. More than 1,500 legal claims were filed against Johnson & Johnson and the company is under allegations that its antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) triggered breast development in boys – a condition called gynecomastia. The $70 million award is the highest paid amount in Risperdal litigation till now. A boy from Tennessee name Andrew Yount get the award of $70 million by a U.S jury. According to the plaintiff, the drug caused him to grow female breasts. When yount was of 5 years old he started to take Risperdal and never have a thought that the drug cause gynecomastia, the condition leaves men with breasts that resemble those of women, now he is of 16.
The jury of Philadelphia Court found that the manufacturer of antipsychotic drug Risperdal failed to warn of the risks cause by the drug which has been linked to the development of female breasts in male patients. As a result thousands of families of boys and young men diagnosed with gynecomastia are currently pursuing Risperdal lawsuits. As per the company clarification the drug’s safety label contained proper warnings about the breast side effects. The company also states that compensation of $70 million is ‘clearly excessive’. Despite this case, in 2013, Janssen Pharmaceuticals granted to pay $2.2 billion to resolve the allegations’ that the company is illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses to children and the elderly. Two other drugs under J&J manufacturing was also included in the settlement which claims about illegally marketing. This was one of the largest U.S. health-fraud penalties in history.
Gynecomastia results from an imbalance in the hormonal environment in the body, with a relative excess of estrogens (female hormones) when compared to androgens (male hormones). The adverse event cause by gynecomastia from Risperdal can have a serious impact on teenagers (boys). The enlargement of breast often requires a mastectomy, or surgical breast removal which leads to several risk for boys and associated with certain medical conditions including hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney, and cirrhosis of the liver. The US Food and Drug Administration was banned the drug for children in late 2006 and warned the company about its illegal marketing.
The manufacturers are neglecting the devastating impact cause by Risperdal on several boys and aggressively marketing the medication for pediatric purpose. They are placing their desire for profits beyond the safety and well-being of consumers. The lawsuits are being investigated against the drug manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals for failing to produce a safe and reliable medication.