In Arkansas, Drug Firms Argue Against $1.2B Judgment

by Chuck Bartels, The Associated Press  on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 11:04 am  

The lower court ordered the companies, both based in New Jersey, to pay $5,000 for each of 240,000 Risperdal prescriptions the state Medicaid program paid for during a 3 1/2-year span. Fox also fined the companies $2,500 for each of more than 4,500 letters Janssen sent to Arkansas doctors that the state said downplayed Risperdal's side effects. That totaled about $11 million.

In a separate action brought by the Justice Department, Johnson & Johnson agreed in November to pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company promoted powerful psychiatric drugs, including Risperdal, for unapproved uses in children, seniors and disabled patients.

The agreement was the third-largest settlement with a drug maker in U.S. history. The Arkansas judgment was the largest in state history. The companies are also appealing an award of 15 percent of the judgment in attorney fees.

The high court will rule later.

J&J and Janssen are also awaiting a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The companies have an appeal pending of a $327 million judgment, in a similar case.

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