Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion – That’s With A B!
On November 4, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder, flanked by top brass from Main Justice, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of Massachusetts, and the Northern District of California announced a historic settlement by Johnson & Johnson of $2.2 billion related to criminal and civil allegations of off-label marketing of medication and kickbacks to physicians for prescribing these medications. This settlement, paid by this corporate giant and three of its subsidiaries, relates to antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, as well as Natrecor – a cardiac medication.
This settlement was many years in the making, with allegations first brought to the government by whistleblowers under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq.). Off-label promotion of medications includes marketing the products for uses other than those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Not only does this practice place patients at risk, but it taints prescriptions written by physicians for these medications and results in improper payments by Medicare and Medicaid. Attorney General Holder also credited the Department’s , also known as “HEAT” with relentless investigative and enforcement efforts.
For a full transcript of Attorney General Holder’s remarks, visit http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2013/ag-speech-131104.html