Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox announced that the state had come to a settlement with Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Fox said that the state would use the settlement money in order to fund the state’s new program for citizens that needed mental health services. It would also go toward a prescription drug abuse prevention program.
The settlement is reported to be $5.9 million. The settlement represents the end of a lawsuit that started in 2008, when the state of Montana first sued Janssen. The state claimed that the pharmaceutical company was illegally marketing Risperdal, an anti-psychotic which is used in treatment for adults with mental health problems and psychological disorders. In the suit, the state of Montana contended that Janssen had hid negative side effects of the drug, while claiming that it was suitable as a treatment for a number of different conditions. Janssen research that was provided to the courts showed that patients could experience weight gain, develop diabetes, or cerebrovascular complications.
The settlement prohibits Janssen from making any misleading claims in future drug promotions, but the company did not have to admit wrongdoing in the marketing of their Risperdal drug.
Fox stated that he believes the funds will help the state solve problems with prescription drug abuse. “All too often, drug abuse begins in our own homes with the misuse of prescription drugs found in our medicine cabinets,” Fox said. “Almost eight percent of Montana's youth between the ages of 12 - 17 recently reported abusing prescription drugs. We need to do more to educate them, and their parents, about the dangers of these drugs. The Janssen settlement funds give us the resources we need to address the issue and focus on providing meaningful solutions.”