Pharma giant fined billions for fraud

In one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements in US history, J&J's criminal and civil fine covers allegations the company marketed risperidone (Risperdal) and other prescription drugs for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The settlement further covers kickbacks J&J allegedly paid to physicians and pharmacies for prescribing and promoting those drugs, the US Justice Department said yesterday. 

The actions resulted in millions of dollars paid under Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for low-income and disabled people, causing losses to both the federal and state governments.

"This global settlement resolves multiple investigations involving the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega (paliperidone) – as well as the heart drug Natrecor (nesiritide) and other Johnson & Johnson products," Attorney-General Eric Holder said in a statement.

"The settlement