Friday, February 03, 2012

J&J Hid Risperdal Studies to Boost Drug Sales, Lawyer Says - Businessweek

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson hid studies showing its Risperdal anti-psychotic drug caused diabetes to protect billions of dollars in sales, a lawyer said in the first personal-injury claim over the medication to go to trial.

Researchers at J&J’s Janssen unit knew as early as 1999 that a study found Risperdal caused diabetes at a higher rate than a competing drug and failed to hand over the results to regulators probing links between the disease and anti-psychotic medicines, Fletch Trammell, a lawyer for a former Risperdal user, told a New Jersey jury today in opening statements.

“The evidence will show Janssen buried studies for a competitive advantage,” Trammell told jurors in state court in New Brunswick, New Jersey. J&J, the world’s second-largest health-products maker, is based in the city.

The trial of Gary Skala’s claims that his 14 years’ worth of Risperdal use caused his diabetes began two weeks after J&J agreed to pay $158 million to settle Texas officials’ claims that it fraudulently marketed the drug.

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