The Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson: Case Study

The case under consideration is the lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, an American company manufacturing various healthcare products. It is a civil lawsuit brought in by Nicholas Murray, a 26-year-old man from Maryland, who accused Johnson & Johnson of not notifying doctors of side effects of Risperdal (Cerullo). Risperdal is a drug prescribed to mentally ill patients, and one of its side-effects, which became the matter of this lawsuit, is gynecomastia, an incurable condition that causes boys to grow breasts (Cerullo). The jury verdict was for Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 billion to the plaintiff to settle the lawsuit (Rowland). Thus, the jury verdict penalized the company for illegal conduct.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit was in support of the court decision. Presumably, there was also a group of people supporting the verdict since Murray was not the only man accusing the company of failing to notify physicians of the detrimental effects of the drug (Rowland). Johnson & Johnson opposed the decision by claiming that it warned its customers about the side effects of Risperdal. The company said that the jury was not provided with the Risperdal label that explicitly states risks related to the use of this drug (Cerullo). As a result, the judge reduced the penalty from $8 billion to $6.8 million (Cerullo). Despite the reduction, Johnson & Johnson was still found guilty.

This lawsuit is likely to have a detrimental effect on the whole pharmaceutical industry, especially given the fact that it is not the only case filed against Johnson & Johnson. Murray was prescribed Risperdal at the age of three, and at that time, the use of this drug for treating children was not approved by the FDA (Rowland). Therefore, I think that this case may lead to some changes in the industry, obliging pharmaceutical companies to notify doctors and patients of all the side effects of their medications explicitly. Furthermore, the companies may be restricted from marketing drugs that were not approved by the FDA. If I were advising a company affected by this decision, I would recommend revising labels of medications to make sure they contain clear and precise information about the drug’s composition and effects. I would also advise the company not to use claims that do not match the real effects of drugs. Moreover, the firm should forgo marketing medications not approved by the FDA and not tested during clinical trials.

Works Cited

Cerullo, Megan. CBS News, 2020. Web.

Rowland, Christopher. “Whopping Jury Award Against Johnson & Johnson Sends a Signal to Drug Industry.” The Washington Post, 2019, Web.

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