Utah’s Attorney General has filed suit against Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca for the illegal off-label marketing of anti-psychotic drugs. The suit, filed in a Utah state court last month by Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff on behalf of the state’s Medicaid program, alleges the drugs Risperdal and Seroquel were marketed to Medicaid patients for uses that were not approved by the FDA. The suit alleges that AstraZeneca and two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries – Janssen Ortho and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals – failed to warn the state, physicians and consumers that use of the drugs was associated with the development of diabetes and related conditions.
Risperdal (made by Janssen Ortho and Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals) and Seroquel (made by AstraZeneca) were approved only for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders in adults. But the companies, the suit alleges, engaged in “false and misleading marketing, advertising and sales campaigns to promote these drugs for indications that are not approved by the FDA.” It’s alleged further that the companies actively marketed the drugs for the treatment of various conditions in children, who had not been diagnosed with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder; elderly patients with dementia; and both minors and adults for “broad, vague symptoms encompassing a myriad of mental afflictions such as anxiety and depression.” It should be noted that Utah opted out of the so-called global Seroquel settlement made by the drug manufacturers with other states.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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