Johnson & Johnson used to be “one of the good guys” — the drug company that won acclaim for its quick action in the face of a Tylenol poisoning crisis of the early 80’s. Those days seem to be gone. >>>
LINK: When Crime Pays: J&J’s Drug Risperdal (by Nicholas Kristof for NYT)
Risperdal is a billion-dollar antipsychotic medicine with real benefits — and a few unfortunate side effects.
It can cause strokes among the elderly. And it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts; one boy developed a 46DD bust.
Yet Johnson & Johnson marketed Risperdal aggressively to the elderly and to boys while allegedly manipulating and hiding the data about breast development. J&J got caught, pleaded guilty to a crime and has paid more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements. But that pales next to some $30 billion in sales of Risperdal around the world.
In short, crime pays, if you’re a major corporation…..
What do you think?
When is judgement day? Eli Lilly executives committed the same crimes with the atypical antipsychotic blockbuster Zyprexa – my only son was killed by the side effects of this drug, dying of profound hyperglycemia at the age of 39. The Zyprexa internal documents are in the public domain – read all about it.
Fans of critical thinking skills will note that Kristoff would have to compare J&J’s $2 billion in penalties to the _profits_ derived from Risperdal – not the _revenues_ – in order to justly conclude that “crime pays.”