June 27, 2016 — Trial is underway on behalf of a young man from Tennessee who developed breasts after taking the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.
It is the fifth trial accusing Janssen Pharmaceuticals of failing to warn patients and their doctors about the risk of gynecomastia, a condition that causes boys to grow female breasts at a young age.
The plaintiff, Andrew Yount, was born in 1998 and started taking Risperdal in 2003 for ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. By 2004, he was growing breasts.
At the time, Risperdal was only approved for adults with schizophrenia. The label said gynecomastia was a “rare” side effect that occurred in less than one in 1,000 patients.
Last year, an investigative report by Steven Brill highlighted the “creative math” Janssen used to make it seem like only 0.8% of boys on Risperdal developed breasts, when in fact the number was closer to 4.5%. Janssen is accused of intentionally marketing Risperdal “off-label” and downplaying the risk of gynecomastia.
Yount’s doctors tried to switch him to another anti-psychotic in 2005. Nothing else worked. His mother filed the lawsuit in 2013, but he continues to take a generic version of Risperdal, according to The Legal Intelligencer.
It is the fifth Risperdal case to go to trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where nearly 1,750 lawsuits are pending.
In November 2015, the lawyer representing Yount won a $1.75 million jury award to the family of a boy from Maryland with gynecomastia. In December, a jury in Philadelphia awarded $500,000 in a similar case.
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