Oregon to get $4.2M in pharma settlement

Oregon will met about $4.2 million in a multi-state settlement with a pharmaceutical company over alleged deceptive marketing.
Oregon is among 36 states that will get a piece of a $181 million settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). The states sued the company over alleged deceptive marketing of antipsychotic drugs used by children and seniors.

The deal is reportedly the largest multi-state consumer protection settlement ever with a pharmaceutical company.
The states claimed that Janssen broke federal law when it marketed its antipsychotic drug Risperdal to children and senior patients as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and anxiety. Doctors can prescribe drugs to treat conditions other than the drugs’ intended use, but drug manufacturers are not allowed to promote their products for alternative uses.

As part of the settlement, Janssen must also more clearly identify potential risks on product labels, refrain from marketing its drugs for specific symptoms, and have scientifically trained employees (instead of marketing employees) write the medical content of responses to doctor inquiries about the drugs.

The company cannot use grants to promote antipsychotic drugs or give bonuses to employees for promoting unapproved marketing.