The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, of a $124 million penalty imposed by South Carolina after a jury found the drugmaker had inappropriately marketed the antipsychotic medication risperidone (Risperdal) and covered up its risks.
Since the court decided not to hear J&J’s appeal, the South Carolina court ruling from June that reduced the penalty to $124 million from $327 million still stands, reports Reuters. J&J’s Janssen unit has been the South Carolina’s court win since 2011.
J&J lawyers cited the Eighth Amendment in arguing against the penalty, saying it violated the prohibiting of “excessive fines.”
In reducing the amount of the penalty the Supreme Court referred to a South Carolina law provision that states that no action can be taken in a case like this after three years of the discovery of unlawful conduct. South Carolina its complaint in April 2007.
The lawsuit centered on promotional materials J&J used to market Risperdal, in which the jury found that the company overstated Risperdal’s benefits compared with other similar drugs, and downplayed its side effects.
This is not the first lawsuit J&J has faced over its antipsychotic medication, Risperdal. In February, a jury in Philadelphia decided that J&J pay $2.5 million in damages for failing to warn that Risperdal could cause gynecomastia, or breast development, in males. That was the first lawsuit to go to trial over Risperdal’s ability to trigger gynecomastia, and J&J currently faces more than 1,000 lawsuits in similar cases, reports FiercePharma.
Risperdal, launched in 1994, treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability in people with autism. Side effects associated with the drug include stroke, diabetes and weight gain.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery