Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2bn to end US drug probes

City A.M. Reporter
IN ONE of the largest health care fraud settlements in US history, Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2bn to end civil and criminal investigations into kickbacks to pharmacists and the marketing of pharmaceuticals for off-label uses, US Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday.

The resolution of the long-running case with the company and its subsidiaries covers the marketing of anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega and heart drug Natrecor over several years. As part of the settlement, Justice Department lawyers filed a civil complaint against J&J in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The settlement also resolved allegations that J&J and a subsidiary, Scios, marketed Natrecor for off-label uses not approved by the FDA and not covered by federal healthcare programmes. J&J disclosed in a securities filing in 2011 it had reached an agreement to resolve criminal penalties related to the promotion of Risperdal, but that certain issues remained open.

“We reached closure on complex legal matters spanning almost a decade,” said Michael Ullmann, general counsel of J&J.