5 Largest Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

December 29, 2023 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
5 Largest Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

A company can sell more products if they claim a drug can be used for more purposes than it is approved for. In some cases, these uses are not inherently unsafe – they are just not approved by the FDA. However, there are many other situations where this unapproved usage makes the drug unsafe. This can happen when a drug is being prescribed at a higher dose than recommended or if it has not been tested in clinical trials. Money plays a big role in why companies will misrepresent drugs. In recent years, many pharmaceutical companies have been questioned and punished for negligent actions. We have provided a list of the five biggest settlement payouts for pharmaceutical lawsuits.

Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson (2022)

Doctors prescribed opioids for numerous ailments that did not require it, leading to a major addiction crisis. This settlement came to $26 billion, with $23.9 billion of the settlement funding efforts to stem the opioid crisis.

GlaxoSmithKline (2012)

GlaxoSmithKline, LLC pled guilty for unlawfully promoting prescription drugs and failing to report safety information. This settlement came out to $3 billion. The money was used as follows: $2 billion for civil liabilities; $43.1 million for forfeiture; and $956.8 million for criminal fines.

Pfizer (2009)

This settlement came out to $2.3 billion as a result of the false promotion of Bextra Valdecoxib Tablets, Geodon Capsules, Lyrica Pregabalin, and Zyvox. Pfizer faced allegations of paying kickbacks and submitting false claims to the government. The settlement money was used as follows: $1.3 billion for criminal fines and $1 billion for civil settlements for illegal drug promotions.

Johnson & Johnson (2013)

Johnson & Johnson pleaded guilty to misbranding the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Allegations included off-label marketing and kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists. The settlement reached $2.2 billion – $1.72 billion was used for civil settlements, $419 million was used for criminal fines, and $66 million was used for forfeiture.

Abbott (2012)

In 2012, Abbott pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor for unlawful promotion of the prescription drug Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA. The settlement came to $1.5 billion and was used for: $800 million in civil settlements, $500 million for criminal fines, $198.5 million for forfeiture, and $1.5 million for Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Call a Dangerous Drug Attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy

If you believe you were harmed after using a certain pharmaceutical product, call a skilled dangerous drug attorney for help in starting a personal injury claim.