At the start of the trial, lawyers for New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson had insisted the company did nothing improper in marketing the drug.
“Janssen is committed to ethical business practices and had policies in place to ensure its products are only promoted for their FDA-approved indications,” the company said in its settlement statement
Last year, a South Carolina jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of overstating the safety and effectiveness of Risperdal. In 2010, a Louisiana jury found the company violated that state’s Medicaid fraud act. J&J is appealing the Louisiana verdict and has said it will appeal the South Carolina one as well.
Settling the Texas case made sense for the companies, said Steve Brozak, president of WBB Securities.
“They can quantify the damage and it does not bring the kind of visibility they would not want,” with a negative verdict and larger penalty, Brozak said.
Jones, the whistleblower, deferred to Abbott’s office when asked if $158 million was a fair amount.
“In terms of punishment, they’ll feel it, but this industry will not change its behavior until executives are prosecuted, until executives actually go to jail for the frauds they perpetrate,” Jones said.
Johnson & Johnson shares ended the day down 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $65.19.
• Lozano reported from Houston. Associated Press writer Linda A. Johnson in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.
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