Pharmacy provider Omnicare will pay $124 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging that the company illegally provided incentives to nurses and facilities to continue using their products for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Omnicare paid $98 million in 2009 to resolve a case where Johnson & Johnson made payments so Omnicare pharmacists would recommend the antipsychotic Risperdal to patients.
Johnson & Johnson later paid a total of $2.2 billion in that illegal marketing Risperdal lawsuit, which was the largest settlement of its kind. Risperdal has been prescribed off-label to treat symptoms of ADD and ADHD, depression and autism in children, though recent studies have linked the drug to an increased risk of gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is a condition in which increased prolactin levels leads to the development of breast tissue in boys and male adolescents. Several patients suffering from gynecomastia have filed Risperdal lawsuits, alleging manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson did not warn doctors and patients of the risks of male breast tissue growth associated with the antipsychotic.