Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Johnson & Johnson Press Conference Announcing $2.2B Settlement

Good morning – and thank you all for being here. I am joined by Associate Attorney General [Tony] West; Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division [Stuart] Delery; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania [Zane] Memeger; U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts [Carmen] Ortiz; First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California [Brian] Stretch; and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at the Department of Health and Human Services [Gary] Cantrell.

We are here to announce that Johnson & Johnson and three of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil claims that they marketed prescription drugs for uses that were never approved as safe and effective – and that they paid kickbacks to both physicians and pharmacies for prescribing and promoting these drugs. Through these alleged actions, these companies lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients, and the private insurance industry. They drove up costs for everyone in the health care system and negatively impacted the long-term solvency of essential health care programs like Medicare.

This global settlement resolves multiple investigations involving the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega – as well as the heart drug Natrecor and other Johnson & Johnson products. The settlement also addresses allegations of conduct that recklessly put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society – including young children, the elderly, and the disabled.

In the criminal information filed today, we allege that Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Incorporated violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by introducing Risperdal into the market for unapproved uses. In its plea agreement, Janssen admits that it promoted this drug to health care providers for the treatment of psychotic symptoms and associated behaviors exhibited by elderly, non-schizophrenic patients who suffered from dementia – even though the drug was approved only to treat schizophrenia.

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