In 2012, reports emerged that Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Risperdal, marketed the medication to doctors working with children, a use not then approved by the FDA. The drug is typically prescribed to treat certain mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, and bipolar I disorder, as well as autism and other related conditions.
Subsequent research revealed certain risks the drug can pose to children. A large study of adolescents using the drug revealed hormonal changes in male patients. These changes triggered the development of female breast in young males, a condition medically described as gynecomastia. Three out of ten male adolescents developed the condition to some extent, which demonstrated that Risperdal should only be given to those patients with extreme caution.
Affected individuals are now suing Johnson & Johnson and its affiliates alleging the drug caused them to develop gynecomastia. According to pharmaceutical company’s August 2018 quarterly report, 13,500 lawsuits have been filed, primarily in Pennsylvania, California, and Missouri.
In July 2016, a Philadelphia jury awarded $70 million to a teenage plaintiff who successfully sued Johnson & Johnson for his development of female-size breasts while taking Risperdal. He had been prescribed the drug since he was 5 years old and was never warned about the possible side effect. In fact, counsel introduced evidence that the company hid the results of study regarding breast development from doctors to ensure they would still be writing prescriptions for the medication.
Although this result is not typical for a Risperdal claim, the company is settling a number of lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered gynecomastia as a result of taking Risperdal, contact the dangerous drug attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.