Weird Medicine

Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $8B To Man Who Grew Female Breast

Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest pharmaceutical and health products manufacturer, has lost another lawsuit linked to its branded drug Risperdal, one of whose side-effects is to boost the size of men's breasts so these become about as large as those in women.

A jury in Philadelphia on Tuesday awarded 26-year-old Nicholas Murray a further $8 billion in damages, in addition to the $680,000 awarded to him in 2015. The $8 billion awarded to Murray is the largest yet in lawsuits against J&J stemming from Risperdal. It accounts for 52 percent of J&J's total net income of $15.3 billion in 2018. J&J had revenues of $81.6 billion in 2018.

Murray began taking Risperdal in 2003. He developed breast tissue after taking the drug, which was “humiliating” and “often painful,” according to Murray's lawyers.

Murray’s lawyers argued Janssen didn't make him aware Risperdal could lead to the development of female breast tissue. The jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson made a “pervasive nationwide effort to illegally market Risperdal and downplay its very serious risks on a systemic level,” said court documents.

The generic name of Risperdal is risperidone. This drug was originally marketed as an antipsychotic, used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism.

Risperdal was formerly the number one antipsychotic used in the U.S. with annual sales of over $4.5 million. The branded drug Risperdal is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a J&J subsidiary.

"Gynecomastia" is the clinical name for the enlargement or development of breast tissue in males. Up to a fourth of gynecomastia cases are estimated to have been caused by the use of medications such as Risperdal. This condition is known as nonphysiologic gynecomastia.

J&J currently faces thousands of civil lawsuits over Risperdal. These cases numbered over 1,500 in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia on July 2016. Murray’s lawyers represent thousands of people with similar claims against Johnson & Johnson.

J&J has lost a number of these lawsuits, being ordered to pay tolerable fines in the process. A February 2015 verdict against J&J resulted in $2.5 million awarded to a man from Alabama. There was also $1.75 million verdict against J&J on November 2016, and a $70 million verdict in 2016.

J&J took a huge hit when it was forced to pay $2.2 billion in 2013 by the U.S. Justice Department for unfairly marketing drugs, including Risperdal, as treatment for dementia.

Female with American flag covering her breasts with hands Find out if your state tops the sex duration list in the nationwide map that shows the average intercourse time for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

Loading...
Join the Discussion