Drug firms settle with Montana for $5.9M


HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle a lawsuit with the state over the marketing of an antipsychotic drug.

Fox said Thursday proceeds from the settlement will go to create a program to prevent prescription-drug abuse. Money also will go to the Montana Mental Health Trust, consumer protection education and to reimburse the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Montana's 2008 lawsuit against Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals claimed the companies hid the dangers of Risperdal. Attorneys for the state say the companies knew the drug had the potential to cause weight gain, diabetes and complications to the brain's blood vessels in the elderly.

The companies admit no wrongdoing in the settlement, signed Feb. 16.

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