SILVER SPRING, Md. — Recently, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, David Kessler, testified as an expert witness in a trial against Risperdal manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. In his expert testimony, he stated that the companies were aware of the long-lasting and severe health risks associated with their drug Risperdal, including male breast growth. Counsel for Johnson & Johnson is now responding by trying to discredit the former FDA commissioner.

In his original testimony, Kessler had cited studies that showed that male breast development, or gynecomastia, had developed in nearly 4% of the research’s male patients who were taking Risperdal. Kessler also testified that the drug’s manufacturers both knew about these serious and potentially permanent risks and still encouraged the prescription of this drug for off-label use. In response to these allegations, the defendants’ counsel has countered that Kessler has a habit of taking the side of plaintiffs in drug liability cases and that he is a biased expert witness who seeks to discredit drug manufacturers. Kessler responded to the defendants by saying that each case and each drug are unique and that he does not testify the same way for each lawsuit. The defendants also accused Kessler of being selective with which documents he used for his testimony instead of taking everything into account.

There are currently more than a thousand similar Risperdal cases pending in Philadelphia that name Johnson & Johnson and/or Janssen Pharmaceuticals as defendants. Many of the other lawsuits also allege that the plaintiffs suffered from male breast growth but some also allege other negative side effects of the drug such as diabetes. Although Risperdal has been approved for use by the FDA as an antipsychotic medication, many of the lawsuits allege that the drug’s manufacturers encouraged doctors to prescribe it for other uses and that the manufacturers downplayed the known health risks that could result from its off-label use.

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Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by Risperdal. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by this dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs. If your claim is not successful for any reason, you do not owe us anything. We put it all in writing for you.

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