The Huffington Post has published a 15-chapter expose on American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The piece documents J & J’s troubling history of promoting antipsychotic Risperdal in its first chapter, including the sad tale of Austin Pledger, an autistic man who developed size 46DD breasts after taking Risperdal since age 12.
The article, titled “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker,” goes on to document how Johnson & Johnson remained defiantly ambiguous about whether or not it illegally promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses, despite billion-dollar settlements in lawsuits that alleged those infractions. As of the time of publishing, thousands of Risperdal lawsuits have been filed against J & J.
Risperdal has been found to increase levels of prolactin, a hormone responsible for development of breast tissue in boys and male adolescents. When taken regularly, Risperdal can lead to prolonged and irreversible gynecomastia, or male breast growth. Since the early 1990s, Risperdal has been given to millions of children to treat bipolar disorder, as well as symptoms of ADHD.