Texas will receive $61M in Risperdal settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 2, 2012

AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) � Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced this week that Texas will receive a larger share than initially expected from a $158 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson that was approved by courts on Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson settled with the state in January to resolve allegations that it fraudulently marketed its Risperdal anti-psychotic drug. The settlement was approved on Tuesday in Travis County District Court. Johnson & Johnson denied any wrongdoing as part of the agreement, Bloomberg reports.

A release from Abbott's office says the State will get $61 million.

Johnson & Johnson allegedly defrauded the state's Medicaid program by promoting Risperdal for uses that had not been approved by U.S. regulators. The company also allegedly downplayed the health risks of the drug.

Johnson & Johnson will pay $158 million, with 31 percent going to the United States, 40 percent going to the state and 17 percent to Allen Jones, a whistleblower who brought the lawsuit. The rest will go to Jones' attorneys, Bloomberg reports.

The settlement represents the largest in a Texas case under the state's fraud act for Medicaid. The settlement was also the first time Johnson & Johnson settled a state's claims over Risperdal after losing jury trials in Louisiana and South Carolina.

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