Over the last few years, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has endured extensive controversy stemming from allegations that its talc powder products caused ovarian cancer in women. Now, Johnson & Johnson is once again feeling the heat over its drug Risperdal, a bipolar medication that caused gynecomastia. In particular, Johnson & Johnson is being sued for marketing Risperdal to children and teens for autism, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia without full disclosure of its dangerous side effects.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition of enlargement of male breast tissue that results in “man breasts” that can be humiliating and devastating to young boys and men alike. It is usually caused by an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone in boys going through puberty or old age, but Risperdal caused gynecomastia on its own by increasing prolactin hormone levels in the brain. With more prolactin, which controls milk production, the breasts swell and grow just like a woman’s does during pregnancy.
Lawsuits Over the Years
Risperdal lawsuits have been popping up across the country for a few years. One autistic man in Alabama has been taking Risperdal since he was 8, and by his 20th birthday had 44D sized breasts. When he sued Johnson & Johnson for the unexpected side effect, he was granted more than $2 million in compensation. Since 2013, more than 1,400 have occurred regarding Risperdal and insufficient efforts to caution patients about the risks of taking the drug.
Johnson & Johnson has also dealt with legal woes for Risperdal’s tendency to cause diabetes and uncontrollable body spasms. Arkansas fined the company more than $1 billion for improper marketing, and South Carolina officials won a $327 million award for a claim that Johnson & Johnson sent marketing letters to doctors that overstated the safety of Risperdal.
It is unacceptable for drug makers to mislead the public and trick them into taking a drug that will cause such dangerous side effects, which is why these lawsuits are taking place. Anybody who has been negatively impacted by taking Risperdal has a chance at a settlement with the help of an experienced lawyer.