Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay man $8bn over breast growth

US drug firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been told to pay $8bn (£6.6bn) in punitive damages to a man over claims he was not warned that an antipsychotic drug he was prescribed could lead to breast growth.

A jury in Philadelphia made the award to 26-year old Nicholas Murray, whose case was the first of thousands pending in the state.

His legal team argued that J&J and its subsidiary Janssen chose “profits over patients” relating to the drug Risperdal, which he was given by his doctor while a child in 2003.

The drug was approved for treating schizophrenia and episodes of bipolar mania in adults by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993.

Mr Murray said J&J failed to warn of the risk of gynecomastia, the development of enlarged breasts in males, alleging the company wrongly marketed it for use by children.

The $8bn award was on top of initial compensation of $680,000 (£557,000) handed over in the case.

Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York
Image:J&J has denied cancer links to its baby powder

Mr Murray’s lawyers said in a statement: “This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients.

Source: Skynews

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