New Jersey will get roughly $18 million from a national settlement resolving allegations that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., engaged in unlawful marketing practices to promote sales of their antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega.

“Marketing drugs for unapproved uses is both inappropriate and illegal, and the resultant false billing to government health care programs costs every one of us,” said acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman. “Through our own efforts, and by working in collaboration with our state and federal partners, we are committed to identifying such conduct, and holding the responsible parties accountable.”

The drugs in question are known as atypical or second generation antipsychotics.  According to Hoffman, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen allegedly promoted both drugs for off-label uses which are not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.  As a result of the two companies’ alleged conduct, government-funded health care programs including state Medicaid programs paid for false and/or fraudulent health insurance claims.

The settlement resolves four whistleblower lawsuits under the federal False Claims Act. Janssen Pharmaceuticals also will plead guilty in federal court to a criminal misdemeanor charge of misbranding Risperdal in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.