The Johnson & Johnson employee responsible for the illegal marketing of Risperdal to elderly and young boys while manipulating data is now the company’s CEO. Alex Gorsky was named the CEO of Johnson & Johnson in 2012 after he orchestrated the marketing and sales of the drug as Vice President from 1999 through 2005.
Although the company paid $2.2 billion related to the claims that it illegally promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses, the drug has made over $30 billion globally. Gorsky made $25 million from Johnson & Johnson last year despite being CEO at the time of the settlement.
Gorsky was involved in several decisions that resulted in more sales of Risperdal despite its risks, including successfully convincing the state of Texas to pay for the drug over other generics. This increased the cost per patient taking the antipsychotic from $250 a year to over $3,000 a year.
J & J is now facing multiple Risperdal lawsuits alleging that the drug caused breast tissue growth in young men. An Alabama man who developed 46DD breasts after using the drug since he was 12 was recently awarded more than $2 million.
Risperdal use in boys and male adolescents has been found to increase levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast tissue development. The condition lasts for an indefinite period of time and has no cure without surgery.