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Janssen Wants Prescription Documentation from Plaintiffs in Risperdal Litigation

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Risperdal 1The Risperdal mass tort centralized in Philadelphia grew by 550 cases, or 39 percent, during 2016, prompting defendant Janssen Pharmaceuticals to raise the issue of whether new plaintiffs should have to include prescription records and documentation of a Risperdal-related injury in their plaintiff fact sheets as a way to “weed out” claims without merit.

In a memo filed January 30, Janssen said that in the Xarelto and Paxil mass torts, case management orders required those plaintiffs to include similar information, and including the prescription information would help to more quickly determine which plaintiffs took only the generic form of Risperdal, which Janssen claims no liability for.

The plaintiffs, however, called the request a “Lone Pine” order, a type of motion that is rarely used and typically reserved for situations in which discovery abuses have occurred. They noted in their own brief that the fact sheets already provide details of:

• The dates that the plaintiff used Risperdal or its equivalent
• The dosage
• The name of the prescribing doctor
• A description of the plaintiff’s injury
• The dates of the injury

In the beginning of 2017, approximately 1,945 Risperdal cases had been filed in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, but more than 2,000 claims are now pending.

What is Risperdal?

Risperdal is a powerful anti-psychotic drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat schizophrenia in adults. In 2006 and 2007, the FDA approved additional uses for Risperdal, including the treatment of bipolar disorder in adults and juveniles, schizophrenia in children, and certain behavioral symptoms in children with autism.

There have been more than 13,000 adverse reactions reported to the FDA in connection with Risperdal, and the agency estimates that less than one percent of all serious events are ever reported, indicating that the actual number of side effects occurring is likely much higher.

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