In a fourth lawsuit with ruling in favor of the plaintiff, a Philadelphia jury awarded a young man $1.75 million in damages to be paid by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff had been taking Risperdal beginning in 2003 at the age of 9 when the drug had only been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, reports the Legal Herald.com.
The lawsuit claims that Risperdal had been illegally marketed for treatment of children for various conditions, reports digital journal.com.
During those five years, the plaintiff developed male breast growth, known as gynecomastia, while taking Risperdal. Gynecomastia is linked to the increased level of the hormone Prolectin that stimulates breast growth and milk production.
The lawsuit was based on the plaintiff not being aware of the potential risk of developing gynecomastia and of Janssen Pharmaceutical failing to provide that information at that time, said digital journal.com.
This was not the first time Risperdal was involved in a lawsuit. Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion in a settlement brought against them in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The drug manufacturer was charged with illegally marketing drugs, including Risperdal, “off label.” When a drug is prescribed “off-label” it means it is being prescribed in a way other than the way it had been approved by the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).