A complaint was filed against Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest health care companies in the country. The complaint alleges that Johnson & Johnson made a backroom deal with Omnicare, a popular pharmacy chain utilized by many nursing home patients, according to nj.com.
The evidence against Johnson & Johnson, as reported in the nj.com article, includes the fact that Omnicare’s purchase of Risperdal, an antipsychotic prescription medication manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, tripled from 1999 to 2004. These sales come despite the fact Risperdal can potentially cause serious negative side effects including:
· Restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck
· Tremor (uncontrolled shaking)
· Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
· White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
· Trouble swallowing
· Feeling light-headed, fainting
In addition, Omnicare already paid nearly $100 million to the federal government over similar allegations of unethical conduct.
Does this constitute nursing home abuse? Not in the traditional sense, but the practices, if proven true, show a disregard for the well-being of the nursing home patients in favor of profits and kickbacks.
If the allegations against Johnson & Johnson prove to be true, it could be a major blow to the company, which generated over $15 billion in sales for the second quarter of 2009. Those sales figures indicate thousands of individuals use Johnson & Johnson prescription drugs, but those same individuals may have been deprived of a choice or information about another drug due to Johnson & Johnson’s alleged dubious deal with Omnicare.
"It’s disheartening that this stuff continues to go on,’’ said Ira Loss, who works as a senior health policy analyst with consulting firm Washington Analysis. “Most of these companies probably don’t think they’re going to get caught.”
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (NC-VA law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard, Virginia Beach Injuryboard, and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.