Judge orders drug company to pay SC $327 million

A judge in South Carolina says a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary must pay the state $327 million for deceptive marketing of an antipsychotic drug.

Spartanburg County Judge Roger Couch on Friday ordered Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc. to make the payment for violations of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.

A jury in March said the subsidiary of the New Brunswick, N.J.-based drug manufacturer broke the law by sending misleading letters to about 7,200 doctors in South Carolina. It said the company downplayed links between diabetes and the schizophrenia drug Risperdal and improperly claimed the drug was safer than competing medications.

A Janssen spokeswoman did not immediately return a message Friday.

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