J&J on defense in Topamax trial that starts in Philly

Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary were defending the company and the drug Topamax in trial that began Tuesday in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

In the Bloomberg News story (link here), the attorney for a Virginia woman said J&J had put the woman and her child at risk because of the side effects related to the drug that was prescribed to treat the woman's migraine headaches. In the story, April Czimmer blamed Topomax and Janssen for her son’s cleft palate and lip and claimed Janssen negligently failed to inform patients about its risks until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered stronger warnings in 2011. The attorney said this was among the first of 134 Topomax suits in Philadelphia.

Like most big drug companies, J&J faces thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts filed by people who say they or their children were harmed by the company's drugs.

J&J said Tuesday in releasing its third quarter financial results that it had increased the money it set aside to deal with litigation. A link to the Inquirer story on that is here.