After an appeal, drug giant Johnson & Johnson is only paying $7.8 million in a Risperdal settlement, a fraction of the $1.2 billion fine imposed by an Arkansas judge. The state of Arkansas alleged that J&J and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals violated consumer protection laws by illegally marketing antipsychotic Risperdal for unapproved uses.
The state charged Janssen with downplaying the risks associated with Risperdal, including the risk of gynecomastia, or breast tissue development in boys and male adolescents who use the drug. The Risperdal lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers began nearly eight years ago.
Risperdal has been found to potentially increase levels of prolactin, a hormone responsible for breast tissue growth, for an indefinite period of time. Many male patients who have been giving the drug to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and symptoms of ADHD claim that their breast growth was due to the drug.