Calif. To Receive $89M From J&J Settlement Over Improper Marketing
On Monday, California officials announced that the state will receive $89 million of a $2.2 billion national settlement with Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the drugmaker improperly marketed three medications, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).
Details of Allegations
According to federal investigators, J&J promoted Risperdal for several off-label uses for which it was never approved, including:
- Controlling anxiety and aggression in elderly patients with dementia; and
- Treating behavioral problems in other "vulnerable" populations, such as children and individuals with mental illnesses.
Investigators also argued that J&J "made false and misleading statements" about antipsychotic drug Invega and that another J&J subsidiary launched an "aggressive campaign" to market the heart disease treatment Natrecor to certain patients with less severe heart disease than the drug was approved to treat (Dennis, Washington Post, 11/4).
Details of Settlement
The settlement -- which requires approval from a federal judge -- includes:
- Criminal fines and forfeited profits of about $485 million; and
- Civil payments to federal and state governments amounting to more than $1.7 billion (Thomas, New York Times, 11/4).
California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) said, "Motivated by profit, these companies made false claims that jeopardized the health of California's most vulnerable patients, including children and senior citizens -- and left California taxpayers with the bill."
As part of the settlement, J&J also agreed to resolve civil liabilities for any false or fraudulent claims submitted to Medi-Cal that stemmed from its unlawful conduct, according to the Journal.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).
J&J on Monday said that despite the large settlement, it "expressly denies the government's civil allegations" (Washington Post, 11/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.