In 1993 the FDA approved the use of Risperdal for the treatment of autism, bipolar mania, and schizophrenia. However, it became evident that the drug had some serious side effects including the development of breasts in boys and men.
Lawsuits are increasing against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson and the manufacturer of the drug. The public has become aware of the drugs side effects through massive television advertising, by attorneys looking for more men to represent. In addition, Johnson and Johnson has canceled the “tolling agreement” which pauses or cancels the statute of limitations and allows potential claimants the opportunity to file legal action. Thus the Philadelphia courts are bogged down with an increase of over 3,000 cases in the first quarter of 2017, bringing the total to over 5,000 now pending.
To date, of the cases that have made it to trial, Janssen has lost 4 of the 8 cases. In 2016 one claimant was awarded $70 million, plus another $7 million due to a delay in proceedings.
Johnson and Johnson has been accused of non-disclosure of serious side effects to doctors, parents and the public. In November 2013, Johnson and Johnson plead guilty to aggressive marketing, off label use, and paying doctors kickbacks; they paid fines totaling $2.2 billion.
Surprisingly, the drug remains on the market, and in fact, sales increased 1.6% over 2016 with a first-quarter sales report for 2017 of $17.8 billion. There is some debate about the benefits versus the side effects; meanwhile, the drug is still being prescribed.