An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Texas Attorney General Sues Pharmaceutical Giant

Photo of Brant Stogner

Fourteen years after the State of Texas recovered $17.3 billion from tobacco manufacturers, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott now returns to the courtroom this week against pharmaceutical giant, Janssen Pharmaceutical LLC in hopes to recover more than $1 billion in damages. Abbott is charging Johnson & Johnson Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary Janssen, and five other related companies for implementing a "sophisticated marketing scheme" to defraud the state into overpaying for Janssen's schizophrenia drug, Risperdal. The state also alleges in its lawsuit that the pharmaceutical companies misled Texas health officials about Risperdal's effectiveness, risk of side effects, and safety for pediatric use.

Risperdal was approved by the FDA in 1993 and quickly became one of Johnson & Johnson's top-selling drugs; raking in more than $3.4 billion in annual sales. However, Abbott is alleging that much of this revenue is the product of suspect marketing tactics. Texas' lawsuit claims that the named drug companies misrepresented "truthful information about the safety, efficacy, appropriate uses and cost-effectiveness of Risperdal" to state officials. The state further alleges that by setting their sights on the largest Medicaid population in the country - Texas, these drug companies have successfully exploited the lucrative public sector, since schizophrenic adults tend to be poor and uninsured.

However, according to the lawsuit, persuading Texas to label Risperdal as a preferred medication is no simple task. In fact, Johnson & Johnson even created their own special department to push the drug in the public sector. According to the allegations, the companies' misrepresentations about the drug allowed them to circumvent the Texas Medicaid Program's cost-saving measures. The state also alleges that these pharmaceutical companies bribed "key decision-makers," such as doctors employed by the state's Health and Human Services Commission, more than a decade ago in order to give Risperdal preference over competing antipsychotic drugs.

This is not the first Risperdal-related lawsuit Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries have faced. In October 2010, Louisiana was awarded $258 million from the Risperdal manufacturer for violating the state's Medicaid Fraud Act. In June 2011, South Carolina received the largest verdict in the country over the marketing of Risperdal after it issued the defendants to pay $327 million for misrepresenting the possible side effects of Risperdal.

Trial began this Tuesday as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seeks over $1 billion in damages - a verdict that, if successful, would dwarf that which was recently seen in South Carolina.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $50+ Million Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs, taking a lead role in the plaintiffs’ steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Plant Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Worksite Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm’s client.

  • $12 Million 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 million.

Our Record Of Success

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

Read More Success Stories

Let Us Help You Request a Free Consultation Today

Get Help Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Back to top