Big Pharma: Is Paying Big Fines More Profitable than Telling Doctors and Consumers the Truth in Marketing?
This week, Johnson & Johnson etched its name in the history books of another big pharma company that has been fined over billions of dollars due to a drug manufacturer practices of improper marketing and failure to warn. Johnson & Johnson pled guilty to claims stemming from allegations that the giant pharmaceutical company knowingly marketed the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal for inappropriate uses and paid kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes in prescribing the drug. The total amount of fines amounted to $2.2 billion. This was not the first time that Johnson & Johnson has settled claims for their drug, Risperdal. This is also not the first time that a major pharmaceutical company has paid fines for not properly disclosing while denying in corresponding civil litigation it failed to properly disclose.
Click here to read the full article: J&J to Pay $2.2B to Wrap Up Long-Standing Risperdal Marketing Probe
This is the second major fine that big pharma has been dealt in the last three months. In July 2013, Pfizer, maker of the cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor, and the U.S. Justice department agreed to a $490.9 million settlement agreement with Pfizer’s Wyeth unit related to illegal marketing of a kidney-transplant prescription medication, Rapamune (sirolimus). Previously, the Food and Drug Administration approved the immunosuppressive therapy for kidney transplant patients, but Wyeth also marketed it on an unapproved basis for other types of organ transplant patients, “which resulted in false Medicare and Medicaid claims”.
It was two years ago, that GlaxoSmithKline, the drug giant that produced the heavily litigated Avandia, agreed to pay $3 billion to settle United States government civil and criminal investigations into its sales practices for numerous drugs, including Avandia. Company whistleblowers alleged that GSK improperly paid Doctors and manipulated medical research to promote sales of the drug.
The practices of improper marketing and failure to warn are at the heart of the current drug litigation occurring with the DePuy metal-on-metal hips, transvaginal mesh made by Bard, Johnson & Johnson and others, Pfizer’s Lipitor users being diagnosed with type two diabetes, Merck’s Fosamax users suffering atypical femur fractures, Actos users suffering bladder cancer, and a host of others. When companies have block buster drugs, history has shown they often seek to expand market share through non-authorized uses to enhance profits during patent exclusivity. This conduct is knowingly done at the health expense of the consumers through failure to tell the whole truth to physicians and holding back essential information and adequate warnings.
Drug manufacturers have historically been shown to engage in improper marketing practices, paying kickbacks to prescribers, concealing essential information consumers and their physicians need to know, denying all of that conduct beyond scores of corporate attorneys in litigation, then attempting to quietly settle the concealment and improper marketing claims with the federal or State authorities once the civil litigation has drawn near a close.
Despite the fines, the practice continues. Why?
Obviously, Big Pharma believes simply telling the whole truth, so honest decisions can be made is not a good business practice. Apparently, Big Pharma would rather pay the fines if it is caught, and ask the government for forgiveness while denying fault to the people injured by their failure to disclose the truth.
Contact Our Experienced San Francisco Drug Recall Lawyers Today
At the Brandi Law Firm, we help people throughout the country who have been harmed because of a defective drug or medical device such as women contracting type two diabetes while using Lipitor, people suffering from bladder cancer while using Actos, Fosamax users suffering atypical femur fractures, DePuy ASR hip users requiring revisions or suffering toxic poisoning, and women suffering significant pain, erosion and removal of Vaginal Mesh Instead of treating all victims of defective drugs and medical devices the same we take a different, more personalized approach with a team of experienced defective drug attorneys and paralegals working for every client. Our goal is to provide you with information about your legal options and to help you pursue compensation and holding these drug companies responsible for their dangerous actions. Please contact the Brandi Law Firm today (1-800-481-1615 or email us) to talk with the experienced San Francisco defective drug attorneys.