Whether the drug makers failed to properly warn doctors and the public about the side effects of Risperdal is the issue being litigated in Philadelphia this winter. Over 1200 cases have been consolidated in a mass tort action filed there, and the first case began in late January.
Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson has already been fined billions of dollars in a settlement for charges that the company illegally marketed Risperdal. In a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice and several states, the government found that the makers aggressively marketed doctors to prescribe Risperdal for unapproved uses, specifically for children with disabilities and the elderly with dementia.
The first case being tried in Philadelphia involves a 20 year-old male who is autistic. He took Risperdal when he was 8 years-old and later developed “large female breasts.” The growths appear to be permanent, with the only way to remove them being a mastectomy.