Pennsylvania Lawmakers Push for False Claims Act in Light of J&J Settlement, Risperdal Lawsuit Claims Continue to Mount
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are calling for new state-level false claims laws as the dust begins to settle on a multi-billion agreement involving a drug named in Risperdal lawsuit filings, as well as some other medications from Johnson & Johnson, Inc.
According to a November 6th report, a state version of a False Claims Act to reduce healthcare fraud, waste and abuse was introduced by a representative from Washington County in Pennsylvania, as well as a Democratic legislator in June.
J&J Settles Government Probe for $2.2 Billion, Faces Mounting Risperdal Lawsuit Filings
Given the recent multi-million dollar settlement of a government investigation into the off-label marketing of certain drugs marketed by Johnson & Johnson, including an anti-psychotic medication involved in numerous Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits, these new regulations may be timely.
Records from November 4th indicate that the drug manufacturer agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil charges involving Risperdal, which the U.S. government said was promoted to elderly patients in nursing homes, as well as children and individuals with mental disabilities.
Risperdal is an anti-psychotic medication approved to treat adults and adolescents with schizophrenia, as well as bipolar disorder in adults and children between the ages of 10 to 17. Research shows the drug is also increasingly prescribed off-label to individuals with ADHD.
In light of news about Johnson & Johnson’s recent settlement, which does not involve the growing number of lawsuits filed on behalf of men and boys who allegedly developed gynecomastia, or male breast growth, after taking the medication, Pennsylvania lawmakers say that new false claims regulations would recover the “maximum amount possible from those who cheat or attempt to cheat the government.”
Additionally, officials say that implementing the measure would be beneficial for Pennsylvania residents who lose approximately $200 million a year in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. A false claims statute would create a “unique private/public partnership with citizens who have knowledge of wrongdoings by vendors benefitting from state money,” they said.
A report from Bloomberg.com indicates that Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle five Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits in October 2012. These cases were originally filed in Pennsylvania state court.
Call an Attorney to Learn More about Filing a Risperdal Lawsuit
If you or a man you love developed male breast growth, or gynecomastia, after taking Risperdal, you may be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer. Call an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today to find out more about your legal rights at (877) 779-1414.