Monday, November 11, 2013

J&J's Recent Settlement: For the Record

Once again, nothing new here for regular readers; but just to be sure that we are keeping up to date for the record, we should note yet another huge (more than $1B) legal settlement involving a major drug firm. A comprehensive account can be found over at our friends, Health Care Renewal:

Let's return to our standard form for such matters:
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Drugs involved: Risperdal, Natrecor, Invega
Allegations: Off label marketing, kickbacks
Amount of settlement: $2.2B
Settlement equals what percent of annual drug sales: Approximately 87% as best as I can estimate for all 3 drugs, making this one of the heftier settlements on record
Did company admit guilt? Supposedly J&J admitted "accountability" but not wrongdoing, whatever that means

In what appears now to be the formulaic response to any such settlement, J&J spokespeople deny that the company is guilty of any wrongdoing, but say that the settlement was paid simply so that the company can move on and put this unpleasantness behind them. I can sort of understand this; if you paid me $2.2B, I can imagine a good deal of moving on that I would be able to accomplish, and I would certainly put a lot of unpleasantness behind me.

Dr. Roy Poses, as usual, noted that magically, J&J managed to do this bad stuff without any individual human being doing anything wrong and requiring punishment, and opines that until individuals start doing jail time, we should not expect any changes in industry behavior. For a confirming opinion, recall our recent post:
--and the quote therein: “I dedicate this book to the many honest people working in the drug industry who are equally appalled as I am about the repetitive criminal actions of their superiors and their harmful consequences for the patients and our national economies. Some of these insiders have told me they would wish their top bosses were sent to jail, as the threat of this is the only thing that might deter them from continuing committing crimes.”

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