Will Male Breasts Derail a Johnson & Johnson Settlement Over Risperdal Marketing?

Published: May 10, 2013

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A much-anticipated settlement of various federal government probes into Johnson & Johnson marketing of the Risperdal antipsychotic, as well as other medications, is being delayed over language the health care giant fears may cause difficulties for a raft of private lawsuits, The Wall Street Journal reports. Last year, you may recall, J&J agreed to a $2.2 billion deal that would include a misdemeanor plea and a $600 million criminal penalty (see this). But J&J wants to avoid admitting to conduct that could negatively affect the outcome of personal-injury lawsuits alleging Risperdal caused increased levels in children of a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production. Last September, J&J began settling dozens of lawsuits charging Risperdal caused gynecomastia, which is the abnormal development of large mammary glands in males, but product labeling lacked sufficient warnings.

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