W.Va. Court Reverses Ruling Against J & J

State Supreme Court reversed a ruling and nearly $4.5 million penalty against Johnson & Johnson for misleading physicians about two prescription drugs.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a ruling and nearly $4.5 million penalty against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson for misleading state physicians about a two prescription drugs.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a lower court erred when it did not let the company defend itself against evidence that federal authorities had said its literature regarding two drugs was false or misleading.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had twice warned the company that brochures on its narcotic pain patch Duragesic contained false or misleading statements.

A Brook County Circuit judge also said the company's November 2003 letter on schizophrenia drug Risperdal intentionally modified the FDA's warning language and misled health care professionals.

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