November 4, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that Missouri's Medicaid program will recover a $26,668,999 share of a national Medicaid Fraud civil settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Koster said that Missouri joined with other states and the federal government in a settlement resolving allegations of unlawful marketing practices to promote the sales of antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega.
Today's settlement resolves lawsuits filed by whistleblowers and an investigation by the states and the federal government.
An investigation revealed that from 1999 through 2005, Johnson & Johnson employed unlawful off-label marketing and kickback schemes to promote the drug Risperdal, and from 2007 to 2009 the company employed off-label marketing to promote sales of Invega. Once the FDA approves a drug, a manufacturer cannot market or promote a drug for use not specified in the FDA-approved product label.
The lawsuits argued that the pharmaceutical companies made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Risperdal and Invega in promoting their off-label use, and 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 in these patient populations. The manufacturers' unlawful marketing caused false or fraudulent claims to be submitted to state Medicaid programs.
"This settlement returns scarce health-care dollars to the state of Missouri," said Koster. "It also serves as a reminder to pharmaceutical companies to market their drugs for FDA-approved product label uses only."
Since Koster took office, the Attorney General's Office has obtained more than $225 million in Medicaid judgments and recoveries for the state. A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units worked closely with the federal government on the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with the pharmaceutical manufacturers on behalf of the states. Suspected Medicaid fraud should be reported to the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control unit at 1-800-286-3932 or online.