Oregon, Washington part of $181 million drug settlement - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon, Washington part of $181 million drug settlement

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Oregon and Washington are among the states that reached a $181 million settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

The attorneys general for 36 states and the District of Columbia alleged that the company used deceptive practices and improperly marketed antipsychotic drugs for unapproved uses.

Specifically, the company was accused of targeting Alzheimer's patients and those with dementia, depression and anxiety for its drug Risperdal, according to Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The FDA has not approved it for those conditions.

After a four-year investigation, the Washington attorney general said Janssen has agreed to change how it promotes those kinds of drugs.

The settlement restricts Janssen from promoting the drugs for "off-label" uses that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, must also meet a number of other guidelines over the next five years, including requiring scientifically trained personnel to develop medical content about the products instead of sales or marketing employees.

Janssen did not admit wrongdoing. The New Jersey-based company said it wanted to avoid unnecessary expenses and a prolonged legal process.

McKenna said more than $4.6 million will be awarded to Washington "to be used for enforcement and for grants benefiting people who suffer from the conditions for which these drugs were illegally marketed."

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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