J&J to pay $700K on Levaquin warning

A Minnesota jury has determined that Johnson & Johnson did not properly warn patients of possible tendon damage from taking the powerful antibiotic Levaquin. John Schedin, the defendant in the case, is the first of 2,800 cases that claim the drug developer didn't adequately disclose the drug's side effects.

In 2008 the FDA told the makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin that they had to strengthen their warnings for the possibility of tendon rupture caused by the drug. "The risk was higher in patients older than 60, those taking steroids, and recipients of kidney, heart or lung transplants," explains Bloomberg. Schedin was prescribed the drug in 2005 when he was 77 and suffered ruptures of both of his Achilles tendons after taking Levaquin. His lawyer argued that J&J and subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen downplayed the risks because they didn't want to damage the drug's sales potential.

The jury ruled that while J&J did fail to warn of the drug's potential side effects, the drugmaker was not guilty of hiding or misrepresenting Levaquin information. J&J refused to comment on the ruling.

- check out the story from Bloomberg