Risperdal, a powerful antipsychotic manufactured by Johnson and Johnson, was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. In 2007 the drug was approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and youth between the ages of 13 and 17. According to statements released by the U.S. Department of Justice, the drug was also promoted for off label uses, including the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In 2005 a black box warning was issued for Risperdal due to an increased risk of death in patients with dementia over the age of 60. In 2006, Duke University conducted a study of the drug in which they found users of Risperdal had a higher chance of male breast growth (gynecomastia) than users of any other anti-psychotic. Despite this information, the FDA approved the drug for use in treatment of manic disorders in teenagers in 2007, and Johnson and Johnson continued to market it the drug to youth.
In 2008, the Wall Street Journal released information from studies further linking Risperdal to breast growth in youth: however, the FDA did not issue any new warnings. In 2010 the first case against Risperdal was filed by a man who was marketed Risperdal as a teen for unapproved uses and suffered trauma from embarrassment and depression due to unnatural breast growth. Furthermore, the man was required to pursue expensive and potentially painful surgery in order to have the breasts removed.
In 2012, Johnson and Johnson reached a settlement for the rising number of Risperdal cases, offering $181 million to those affected by unnatural breast growth and the consequential emotional trauma. After a 2013 investigation conducted by the Department of Justice, Johnson and Johnson pleaded guilty to aggressively marketing the drug for off label uses and paying off doctors, resulting in over $2 billion in fines. Since 2012, over 1,500 unnatural breast growth related trauma cases, including one wrongful death lawsuit, have been filed against Johnson and Johnson over Risperdal related issues.
In pharmaceutical lawsuits it is important to understand that the plaintiff’s personal doctor will not be held responsible for damages. The attorneys at Jones Brown are committed to helping those adversely affected by Risperdal reach a settlement to cover breast removal surgery expenses and pain and suffering. If you or a loved has developed unnatural breasts after taking Risperdal, fill out our brief client survey to find out if you are eligible to file a claim.