Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Big Easy Justice?

Louisiana's top court rules for J&J in appeal of Risperdal suit

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson won an appeal in Louisiana Supreme Court on Tuesday over its marketing of anti-psychotic drug Risperdal as the court overturned a ruling that would have imposed a $258 million penalty on the company.

The ruling said that the Louisiana Attorney General, James Caldwell, failed to prove that Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc, part of J&J, violated state law when it misrepresented through off-label statements the potential risk of side effects of the drug.

The Louisiana case was not part of a broader $2.2 billion settlement that J&J had made last fall with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding marketing practices for the drug.

J&J spokeswoman Pamela Van Houten said, "We are pleased that the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. Since this lawsuit was filed against us, we have maintained that we did not violate Louisiana's Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law (MAPIL), and we are gratified to have our position validated by today's court decision."

The Louisiana AG's office was not immediately available for comment on the ruling.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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