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Two Alabama parents are currently suing the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson for knowing the dangers of the schizophrenia medication Risperdal five years prior to the corporation’s admission that it could cause some unusual side effects. They have also been accused by an FDA whistleblower of manipulating data to continue selling the drug. This lawsuit is one out of hundreds awaiting trial for similar damages caused by J&J, specifically this drug.
Among several other side effects known to be caused by Risperdal, it caused growth of significant sized breasts in about 1000 young males. The number of people affected by the drug is much higher than 1000 — because theses numbers account for Pennsylvania alone.
It gets more intense; former FDA chief David Kessler testified against Johnson & Johnson in the suit, providing strong evidence to the claims that the corporation actually manipulated data to sell the drug.
Kessler testified and cited a 2001 study that showed “3.8% of boys using Risperdal in a clinical trial developed breasts,” in “a condition known as gynecomastia.”
Predictably, the study was funded by the pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson itself. That “certainly was a red flag,” according to David Kessler. Kessler was FDA commissioner from 1990 to 1997, and oversaw the FDA approval of this drug, and the apparent agenda to expand the use of the drug by any means practical and possible to the corporation J&J.
The suit in which he testified revolved around two parents from Alabama and their severely autistic son who is now 20. Their son was prescribed the drug when he was 7 and a half. Eventually, he had to have large breasts surgically removed as a result of using Risperdal.
The mother of the Risperdal victim, Benita Pledger, understandably did not have much to say. As she wiped tears from her face outside a courtroom in Philadelphia, she said,
I’m just having a hard time right now [...] hearing what the pharmaceutical company was doing.
Previously, the pharmaceutical corporation paid 2.2 billion dollars as a result of their actions concerning the drug Risperdal. The twisted part is, it was not paid to victims of the drug, but to the federal government.
A Fierce Pharma article about this says,
Johnson & Johnson some time back agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle federal claims that it improperly marketed the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.
It doesn’t exactly make sense that J&J gave the federal government 2.2 billion dollars following the settlement when the US Government is not the victim in this case. We all know how inefficient the government bureaucracy is. These kinds of settlements should not be administered by the government, but rather by an independent third party intermediary.
Some details about this case may not be completely clear yet, but as it continues to unfold it will surely give valuable perspective to those paying attention.
Please share this with as many people as possible who could gain some perspective from it, or who may be affected by this drug.
Cassius Methyl writes for TheAntiMedia.org, where this first appeared. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST.