Bryan Cohen Mar. 10, 2014, 2:44pm

HELENA, Mont. (Legal Newsline) - Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced a $5.9 million settlement on Thursday with a major pharmaceutical company to resolve allegations it made misleading claims in the promotion of its drugs.

Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. allegedly engaged in illegal, unfair and deceptive marketing of Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat specific psychological disorders in adults. Janssen allegedly deceived Montana physicians by promoting Risperdal as safe and effective for multiple conditions when the company was aware of dangers associated with the drug.

Under the terms of the settlement, Janssen will pay $5.9 million to resolve the allegations. Janssen also agreed to present information about the benefits and risks of its product in a balanced manner in promotional materials and to make no misleading claims in the promotion of its drugs in the future. Janssen did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Fox said his office will use most of the proceeds of the settlement to pay for a new prescription drug abuse prevention program, mental health programs and services in the state and ongoing consumer protection services.

"All too often, drug abuse begins in our own homes with the misuse of prescription drugs found in our medicine cabinets," Fox said. "Almost eight percent of Montana's youth between the ages of 12-17 recently reported abusing prescription drugs. We need to do more to educate them, and their parents, about the dangers of these drugs. The Janssen settlement funds give us the resources we need to address the issue and focus on providing meaningful solutions."

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