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Johnson & Johnson slammed with $8bn for drug that makes men grow breast

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In a suit filed by Nicholas Murray, a Philadelphian Jury has awarded a sum of $8 billion against US drug firm, Johnson & Johnson, for claims that the plaintiff was not warned that Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug,  could cause breast growth.

Murray had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of nine. His doctors prescribed Risperdal in 2003, a drug manufactured by J &J, which led him to develop breasts.

J&J Risperdal is an approved drug for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and any other condition that doctors may see fit.

According to the plaintiff counsels arguing for Murray, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Janssen, had deliberately neglected to take into consideration the interest of consumers of the drug while marketing it.

“Janssen put “profits over patients” in marketing the drug Risperdal”I’m , according to BBC News, quoting the lawyers.

It is being speculated that the ruling of such large amount may precede many other awards against Johnson and Johnson, as there are many other claims pending in court.

BBC News also reported that Professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law, predicts the jury’s verdict could mean the firm faces more large damages awards in other Risperdal cases.

“The kind of evidence in this trial may persuade another jury or judge to do something similar,” he said.

Professor Tobias said:

“A jury, if it’s outrageous enough conduct, will award a big number and let the lawyers and judges work it out,” he said.

According to the report;

“The company is facing a series of complaints in the US for allegedly failing to properly warn of Risperdal’s side effects.

“The US giant is also facing court challenges over vaginal mesh implants and baby powder allegedly tainted with asbestos. Those cases are in addition to an ongoing legal battle over its role in the US opioid addiction crisis.

“In August, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572m after a judge in Oklahoma ruled that the company contributed to an opioid epidemic in the state by running a “false and dangerous” sales campaign. The firm said it will appeal.”

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In response to the awarded sum of $8 billion, the company has said it will be appealing the ruling, which according to it was “grossly disproportionate”.

It epressed confidence in getting the ruling overturned, claiming that the “court prevented their legal team from presenting “key evidence” on the drug’s labelling.”

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Tsemaye is a Senior Editor and Legal Analyst.

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