Iowa Getting $7.3 Million from National Drug Settlement

By George Ford, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The State of Iowa will receive nearly $7.3 million as part of a $2.2 billion national settlement between Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Justice contends that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary allegedly promoted and marketed, and introduced Risperdal and Invega into interstate commerce, for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and for uses that were not medically indicated.

The government contends that between Jan. 1, 1999, through Dec. 31, 2005, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals promoted Risperdal for off-label uses and made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Risperdal.

The companies also are alleged to have paid illegal kickbacks to health care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to induce them to promote or prescribe Risperdal to children, adolescents and the elderly when there was no FDA approval for Risperdal use for those patients.

The government further contends that from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2009, the companies promoted Invega for off-label uses and made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Invega. The manufacturers’ alleged unlawful conduct caused false and/or fraudulent claims to be submitted or caused purchases by government funded health care programs, including state Medicaid programs.

Rod Roberts, director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, said the settlement compensates Iowa’s Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) for harm allegedly suffered as a result of illegal conduct.

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