Friday, July 20, 2012

A billion here, two billion there.....

......soon it starts to add up to real money!

J&J agrees to $US2b drug settlement: report

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay up to $US2.2 billion ($A2.12 billion) in a settlement for paying illegal kickbacks in the marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, according to a newspaper report.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the settlement on Thursday, said it would include a $400 million criminal fine. The final amount would depend on how many states accepted the settlement.

Johnson & Johnson and the US Department of Justice both declined to comment.

The Journal said Johnson & Johnson would disclose the general terms of the settlement in the next few weeks.

The company would still be allowed to sell its products to Medicare and other government health-care programs.

In 2010 the Justice Department joined a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that a Johnson & Johnson division paid tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks to a company that provided prescription drugs to nursing home patients.

The lawsuit said Johnson & Johnson made the payments to increase sales of Risperdal, a drug that is used to treat conditions including symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is linked to increased risk of death for elderly people with dementia.

The company also faces lawsuits alleging it concealed the side effects of Risperdal. A judge in Arkansas fined the company about $1.2 billion in April.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC agreed to pay $3 billion this month to resolve an investigation into the marketing of two antidepressants, and Pfizer agreed in 2009 to pay $2.3 billion to end an investigation into its marketing of drugs.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose 16 cents to $69.53 on Thursday and slipped 10 cents to $69.43 in aftermarket trading.

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