Jury Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay $8 Billion to Man Who Said Antipsychotic Drug Caused Him to Grow Breasts
A Philadelphia jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical, to pay $8billion in punitive damages in a case where a man who developed breast tissue said the drug company failed to warn that an antipsychotic drug could lead to breast growth in boys. According to a USA Today news report, the drug Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder. But, Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits that claim the drug is linked to abnormal breast growth in males known as gynecomastia and that the company did not warn consumers adequately about those risks.
Putting Profits Over People
Attorneys for the plaintiff, 26-year-old Nicholas Murray, said in a statement that J&J put profits over the well-being of its patients and made billions of dollars marketing the drug illegally for off-label. The verdict in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas was the first to award punitive damages against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.
This essentially means that a doctor would prescribe the drug for a use that is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but deemed medically appropriate. Murray was already awarded $680,000 in compensatory damages in this case back in March 2016.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Risperdal has been shown to cause a number of side effects similar to those seen with other antipsychotics, some of which could be severe of even life-threatening. In addition, it has been proven to cause a condition known as gynecomastia – or breast tissue development – in males, and even in children. Recent studies have also shown that persistent breast enlargement negatively affects self-esteem and other areas of mental and emotional health in adolescent males. Even mild gynecomastia can have adverse psychological effects in boys, according to medical professionals.
A number of lawsuits against J&J and Janssen allege that the companies knew about these adverse effects and yet, put children and teens through this ordeal. If you or a loved one has been prescribed the antipsychotic Risperdal and have suffered such severe side effects, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced defective drug lawyer or product defect attorney can help evaluate your case and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.