Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has asked a federal judge in the US to dismiss a complaint about the company regarding it paying millions of dollars in kickabouts to promote the use of its popular schizophrenia medication.
According to two whistleblowers and the US government, J&J paid vast sums of money to Omnicare Inc, for its pharmacists to recommend the use of Risperdal.
The drug was widely used to treat patients showing signs of Alzheimer’s.
But an investigation into the drug later found that it had a direct link to the increase in deaths among Alzheimer’s patients.
J&J, based in New Brunswick, argued discounts such as those it gave Omnicare were standard industry practice and did not violate the federal anti-kickback law or similar state laws as long as discounts were properly disclosed.
“It is absolutely clear that there is nothing unreasonable about the interpretation Johnson & Johnson had of the statute,” said William Sarraille, an attorney for the company.
Copyright Press Association 2010