Johnson & Johnson expects bigger federal fines in Risperdal investigation

Johnson & Johnson said late Friday afternoon that it increased to $600 million the amount of money it has set aside to pay the civil fines it expects to pay to the federal government, which is investigating the company.

The federal prosecutors are looking at sales practices related to drugs such as the antipsychotic Risperdal and arrangements with nursing home pharmacy company, Omnicare Inc.

Previously, J&J said it has set aside $400 million to cover the potential fines for the civil charges expected in the federal case.

Bloomberg reported that that federal government will want at least $1.8 billion to settle all of the allegations. Other indications are the figure could go beyond the $2 billion mark.

The Justice Department has declined comment regarding on-going investigations.

J&J and its subsidiary, Janssen, which makes Risperdal, have been fighting legal battles in several courts and jurisdictions.