Johnson & Johnson, a leading pharmaceutical company in the U.S., recently received a $8 billion fine for its psychiatric drug that lead to the formation of breasts in men. The company hadn’t listed the growth as a possible side effect of using the medicine.
The case was brought to a court in Philadelphia after defendant, Nicholas Murray, presented his appeal against the company for unusual breast growth after using their drug, Risperdal, meant for treating bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. Johnson & Johnson along with its secondary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, were ordered to pay the fine last October.
According to the ‘pharmaceutical giant’, “although the court appropriately reduced the excessive punitive damages award, we will continue to move ahead with an appeal of this verdict”. It further added, “it was unable to present the jury with vital evidence showing how the drug label appropriately outlined the benefits and risks associated with the medicine.”
Risperdal was deemed safe for human consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993 and gained popularity in the following years. In 2018 alone, the sales of the drug brought in a total revenue of over $737 million.
Risperidone or Risperdal is used to treat certain mental and mood disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism. It works by restoring the natural balance of chemicals in the brain.
Even though, it’s effective, the drug brings along a range of side effects, including dizziness, lightheadedness, drooling, nausea, weight gain and fatigue. It can also lead to significant weight gain and an increase in your blood cholesterol levels. “These effects, along with diabetes, may increase your risk for developing heart disease.”
Furthermore, “risperidone may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, arms or legs).”
About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational corporation founded in 1886 working to develop medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods. Headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, J&J is ranked 37th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue.
J&J includes around 250 subsidiary companies with operations in 60 countries and products sold in over 175 countries. “Among its well-known consumer products are the Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson’s Baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear facial wash and Acuvue contact lenses.”
According to the company’s website, “At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life”.
It further adds, “Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere.”