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State Medicaid program to benefit from settlement

BISMARCK — North Dakota’s Medicaid program will receive nearly $3 million as part of a $1.2 billion national settlement that resolves claims against Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary for their marketing of the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega. 

The state Department of Human Services announced the settlement Tuesday. According to a DHS news release: A whistleblower’s complaint alleged that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., promoted and marketed the two drugs and introduced them into interstate commerce for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and not medically indicated between 1999 and 2009.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay the states and federal government $1.2 billion in civil damages and penalties to resolve the allegations. Janssen pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay an additional $400 million in criminal fines and forfeitures.

Of North Dakota’s $2.99 million share of the settlement, Human Services will receive about $923,000 for the Medicaid program and the federal government will receive about $2.07 million.

As of November, about 66,000 North Dakotans were eligible for Medicaid, which provides health services for people with low income and limited resources.

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