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Former FDA head has become “hired gun” for plaintiffs in lawsuits, drug company alleges

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h697 (Published 05 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h697
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Lawyers for the drug company Johnson & Johnson questioned the credibility of the former chief of the US Food and Drug Administration David Kessler in a Philadelphia court this week, after he took the stand as an expert witness in a mass tort suit against the drug maker and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals over the antipsychotic drug risperidone (marketed as Risperdal).

The consolidated case in Pennsylvania groups together over 1200 plaintiffs from all over the United States who allege that they experienced side effects that the manufacturer knew about but sought to hide from regulators. The most common side effect was gynecomastia, mostly in teenage boys.

Johnson & Johnson …

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