Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, already in legal trouble for illegally marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, is now recalling 16,000 bottles of Risperdal and 24,000 bottles of its generic equivalent. The latest drug recall comes after two consumers noticed a strange, musty odor emanating from the products. Our drug recall attorneys are familiar with the possible side effects associated with this unusual odor. Several previous drug recalls have also stemmed from patient reports of an odor that is caused by TBA, a chemical preservative used in wooden pallets. Patients using the recalled drugs experienced gastrointestinal side effects, which Risperdal users may now be exposed to.
Consumers should be on the lookout for unusual odors in bottles of Risperdal sold between August 27, 2010 and Feb. 15, 2011. The defective Risperdal bottles were manufactured at a Puerto Rican plant, then sent to pharmacists and retailers around the nation. A similarly foul odor caused by the same TBA chemical led Johnson & Johnson to recall several types of Tylenol and Motrin medications in January of 2011, and more than 57,000 bottles of Topomax in April of 2011. Even a small amount of TBA can taint medications and cause users to experience upset stomachs.
J & J has a history of subjecting consumers to defective drug products. In total, the drug company has announced more than two dozen product recalls in the last two years. These recalls involved more than 300 million contaminated nonprescription drugs, as well as tainted prescription drugs and hip replacement systems that required repeat surgeries. J & J officials say they are trying to determine how the potentially dangerous TBA chemical is getting into manufacturing site and ordered suppliers to stop using chemically treated wood pallets. These actions do not go far enough to protect innocent consumers from harm. Drug companies like J & J continue put profits ahead of patient health and safety, exposing the public to potentially dangerous side effects.
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The dangers of Risperdal are widespread. Risperdal is one of the most popular antipsychotic drugs in the nation, used by more than 10 million people since 1993. As an “atypical antipsychotic” drug, Risperdal is supposed to produce fewer side effects than older drugs. But this does not appear to be the case. Our drug recall lawyers have seen Risperdal linked to blood clots, severe weight gain, and even strokes when the drug is used off-label.
Fortunately for consumers, lawsuits involving the antipsychotic Risperdal drug have already resulted in substantial settlements. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a Louisiana jury issued a $257.7 million verdict against J & J for making misleading claims about Risperdal’s safety. J & J officials defrauded the state’s Medicaid system by sending a promotional letter to hundreds of thousands of Louisiana doctors, falsely claiming that Risperdal was safer than other antipsychotic drugs. The FDA subsequently warned consumers that these claims minimized the drug’s potentially fatal diabetes risk. A West Virginia judge also awarded $3.9 million in another Risperdal lawsuit back in 2009. The judge found that J & J misled doctors about Risperdal risks and benefits.
Illegal marketing tactics and contaminated Risperdal medication bottles are exposing thousands of consumers nationwide to serious health risks. At least two states have held J & J liable for making false and misleading claims that minimized the risks. Consumers who have been injured by contaminated Risperdal products should consult an experienced Risperdal attorney to hold J & J accountable and prevent further patient harm.