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US jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $8bn to man with gynaecomastia linked to risperidone

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 11 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5990
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals have been ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay $8bn (£6.5bn; €7.3bn) in punitive damages to Nicholas Murray, 26, who developed gynaecomastia while taking the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone.

Risperidone (marketed in the US by Janssen as Risperdal) can increase concentrations of the hormone prolactin, causing breast development in boys and men.

Two different paediatricians prescribed the drug to Murray off label. He began taking it in 2003 when he was aged 9 for sleep disturbances associated with an autism spectrum disorder. He stopped five years later when the family became concerned about his developing breasts.

In 2013, aged 20, Murray sued Janssen, alleging that the company downplayed the risk of gynecomastia in its marketing to doctors and its application …

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