Lawsuits Charge Risperdal Enlarges Breasts of Young Boys

January 25, 2010

Nearly two dozen product liabity lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey earlier this month charged Johnson & Johnson and its antipsychotic drug Risperdal with causing gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts in boys and young men, The Pink Sheet reports. The drug is already under fire for triggering weight gain and diabetes.

What’s notable about the current crop of lawsuits is that the plaintiffs also sued Elsevier, a medical publisher that also publishes The Pink Sheet, for disseminating ghost-written articles about the drug that “fraudulently convey false and misleading information concerning the safety and efficacy of Risperdal” and “conceal the risks of serious adverse events.”

Elsevier was named in an Australian lawsuit last year for publishing ghost-written articles about Merck’s Vioxx. The company subsequently apologized and recently issued corporate guidelines banning ghost-written articles in any of its publications. It also required full financial disclosure when drug or device companies sponsor supplemental sections in journals, which are a lucrative source of income for the publications.

Amsterdam-based Elsevier publishes over 2,500 medical and scientific journals, making it the largest such publisher in the world.

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