J&J fined $2.2 billion for fraudulently marketing Risperdal, Invega

November 4, 2013

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to settle charges it fraudulently promoted drugs and used kickbacks to spur sales, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to settle charges it fraudulently promoted drugs and used kickbacks to spur sales, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.

The federal government claims J&J marketed Risperdal and other prescription drugs for uses not approved by FDA. The company was also accused of paying physicians to prescribe the drugs and pharmacies to promote them.

"This global settlement resolves multiple investigations involving the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega -- as well as the heart drug Natrecor and other Johnson & Johnson products," Attorney General Eric Holder said.

"The settlement also addresses allegations of conduct that recklessly put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society -- including young children, the elderly, and the disabled."

J&J agreed to pay $485 million in criminal fines and forfeit $1.72 billion in civil settlements with the federal government and states.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a unit of J&J, plead guilty to promoting Risperdal for the treatment of elderly dementia patients although FDA did not approve it for such treatment.  The company was accused of promoting Risperdal and Invega, antipsychotic drugs, to doctors and nursing homes as a way to control behavioral disturbances.

The Justice Department had also accused J&J of paying kickbacks to Omnicare, a pharmacy that dispenses drugs to nursing home patients. Omnicare had previously paid $98 million to settle claims it received kickbacks from J&J.

J&J did not admit wrongdoing. "The settlement of the civil allegations is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing, and the company expressly denies the government's civil allegations," a company spokesperson said.