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Johnson & Johnson Fined $1.1B

An Arkansas judge has fined Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary more than $1.1 billion after a jury found the companies downplayed and hid risks associated with an antipsychotic drug.

Judge Tim Fox found nearly 240,000 violations under Arkansas’ Medicaid-fraud law over Risperdal. Each violation came with a $5,000 fine, setting the total penalty at more than $1.1 billion.

Arkansas sued New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2007 over the drug.

Fox issued an additional $11 million fine in the Wednesday ruling for more than 4,500 violations under the state’s deceptive practices act.

Previous Risperdal verdicts against J&J include a $327 million civil penalty in South Carolina.

Texas reached a $158 million settlement with Janssen in January.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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