Friday, December 29, 2006

J&J - Risperdal: The Case of the Texas Trumper

A case of "sales and marketing trumping medical science" says this whistleblower's lawyer:

A Johnson & Johnson unit misled Texas health officials about the risks of an antipsychotic drug to increase prescriptions, according to a whistleblower lawsuit joined by the state attorney general.

The suit claims that J&J's Janssen Pharmaceutica unit caused Texas to overspend on Risperdal, the world's second-best-selling schizophrenia drug last year. The case is one of several against makers of antipsychotics and stems from Texas prescribing guidelines directing state-funded doctors to give priority to newer, more expensive drugs.

The guidelines and deceptive marketing techniques boosted sales of Risperdal, raising costs for Texas and endangering patients, according to the complaint, which was secret until it was unsealed Dec. 15.

More at Bloomberg

Insider's view: this is just the tip of the iceberg. Other US states and other Big Pharma players are implicated here.

Just watch the fallout!

And finally, where is the data to show these expensive atypical antipsychotics are any better than the older, cheaper, drugs?

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