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J&J Receives Slap on the Hand While Employees Soar, Despite Association with Risperdal

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According to America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker, a special report published in the Huffington Post, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has never come forward with information that any of its employees were disciplined or fired for illegally promoting the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

On the contrary, many current and former J&J employees associated with Risperdal have risen dramatically up the ranks and profited from the drug, in one way or another:

  • Alex Gorsky, who once managed the marketing of Risperdal, is now the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. He received a 48 percent raise, to $25 million annually in 2014; one year after the J&J settlement with the government was reached.
  • Gahan Pandina, the J&J executive who led the Risperdal roll-out in North America, is now the senior director and venture leader at Janssen Research & Development.
  • Ramy Mahmoud, who developed a children and adolescents business plan for Risperdal in 2001, earned a series of promotions with J&J before leaving to become president and chief operating officer at startup OptiNose, whose website notes that he participated in the “development, launch, and/or commercialization of dozens of pharmaceutical and medical device products spanning multiple therapeutic categories, including blockbusters such as Risperdal.”
  • Carin Binder, the executive who spearheaded publication of a “re-done” study that minimized the link between boys who took Risperdal and gynecomastia in the Journal of Child Psychiatry, became the medical affairs director of J&J before retiring in 2014.

Although Johnson & Johnson pleaded guilty and was fined more than $2 billion for aggressively marketing the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to the elderly and young boys, the penalty was little more than a drop in the bucket compared to the $30 billion brought to J&J through the worldwide sales of the medication.

The shocking story about actions taken by “The Credo Company,” the biggest company in the US’s most profitable industry, is worth a read and/or listen.  Johnson & Johnson made decisions  to illegally promote Risperdal to children and the elderly and cover up the side effects related to these individuals while making billions of dollars and these actions effect real people.  It should anger all individuals that this kind of power can go unchecked for so long by a company of this magnitude and with this kind of power.

There are currently 4,200 Risperdal claims on dockets across the U.S., according to a recent J&J Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing and these cases continue to be filed.