Johnson & Johnson faces new marketing investigations
  • Tue, 08/07/2012 - 4:20pm

The U.S. government continues to investigate the marketing tactics of popular healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, adding to the legal troubles that have plagued the drug manufacturer in recent years.

In its quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, J&J disclosed two separate inquiries. The company is still working to reach a settlement in litigation concerning its promotion of antipsychotic Risperdal, as well as other drugs. In April, the U.S. Justice Department asked J& J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit to supply documents dealing with the marketing and promotion of antibiotic Doribax and, in May, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts served a subpoena on J&J’s Acclarent unit concerning the marketing of Acclarent’s Relieva Stratus MicroFlow Spacer and related medical devices.

In January, J&J warned doctors that antibiotic Doribax, used to treat some abdominal and urinary tract infections, could increase the possibility of death and had lower cure rates, which the company determined from a clinical trial of patients with a specific type of pneumonia. Antibiotics, according to MedicineNet, can treat infections resulting from the presence of bacteria or other microorganisms in the body.

The Relieva Stratus MicroFlow Spacer was designed to keep sinuses open in patients recovering from surgery.

J&J announced that both units will cooperate with the government’s investigations.

In the report filed with the SEC last week, J&J also revealed that it has agreed to settle three on-going investigations into the company’s marketing of antipsychotics Risperdal and Invega, and heart-failure medicine Natrecor. The Wall Street Journal reports that the settlement may cost J&J as much as $2.2 billion.

Johnson & Johnson pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanor violation of a federal drug law in order to settle allegations that the drug manufacturer encouraged unapproved uses for Natrecor.

In the last few years, the popular drug manufacturer has also dealt with allegations suggesting that it offered incentives to secure business, while other allegations claim that the company manufactured faulty hip replacement systems that led to patient injuries.

 

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