Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug produced by Johnson & Johnson, was initially used to treat schizophrenia. However, this is a relatively small market, so Johnson and Johnson reinvented the drug to treat a larger range of problems. The drug could now be used on both the elderly and children. Though health agencies cautioned that the drug was not suitable for the elderly, J&J continued to sell it and came up with a sale force called Eldercare. As a result there was an ‘excess number of deaths’ among the elderly who consumed the drug as risk of a stroke increased with this drug.
Johnson & Johnson also began to target children with Risperdal. Even coming up with a ‘Back to School’ campaign with lollipops and small toys. All this time J&J was hiding data which showed that Risperdal, could cause young boys to develop Gynecomastia. This is a disease where boys develop large breasts. The company did eventually get caught and had to pay 2 billion dollars in penalties. However, they had already made 30 billion dollars from this drug.
Volkswagen in the US just admitted that it falsified emissions data by using software in its cars that gave wrong emissions numbers. Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen are some of the most respected and trusted brands in the world!