Johnson & Johnson profits soar despite Risperdal lawsuits

risperdal Johnson & Johnson profits soar despite Risperdal lawsuitsNew product launches and strong pharmaceutical sales have propelled Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter net earnings to $4.3 billion on revenue of $17.8 billion.

“With a number of regulatory approvals, several new drug application submissions and new breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA, we are increasingly confident in our pipeline expectation of filing 10 new pharmaceutical products between 2015 and 2019, each with revenue potential over $1 billion,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. “Our broad-based business model, strategic investments and talented colleagues position us well for continued leadership in health care.”

The company, which sells everything from medical devices, over-the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, and health care products, reported worldwide pharmaceutical sales of $8.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 9.2 percent over last year.

With earnings in the multi-billion-dollar range, it is easier to put into perspective how juries could justify slapping the consumer health care giant with multi-million dollar verdicts. A $70 million judgment over claims the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal disfigured a Tennessee boy, resulting in years of bullying and name calling by his peers, is hardly a drop in the bucket for Johnson & Johnson.

Yet, the company and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals are trying to skirt the landmark judgment – the fifth Risperdal side effects case to go to trial alleging the company failed to warn that Risperdal could cause adolescent boys to develop female breasts, a condition known as gynecomatia. Janssen is questioning the sufficiency of evidence on numerous issues and arguing that the court should have put a $750,000 cap on damages in the case.

If the company is forced to pay the $70 million award, Johnson & Johnson’s financial reports indicate it will have little impact on the bottom line. The company reportedly maintained its sales guidance for the full-year 2016 of $71.5 billion to $72.2 billion.

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