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Mother Says Her Autistic Son on Risperdal Could Wear B-cup Bra

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San Francisco, CAWhen Albina heard of the Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit filed by Mary Wasserman and her son Andrew last month, she was hopeful that her son might be compensated for Risperdal side effects. “My autistic son has been on Risperdal since he was nine years old,” says Albina, “and since he was a teenager, his breasts could fit into a B-cup bra.”

Unfortunately, Albina’s son, who is now 26 years old, was prescribed other medications to treat his severe autism but only Risperdal works. Albina doesn’t blame her son’s psychiatrist for prescribing Risperdal. She says that he knows the medication can cause breast development in young men, but there isn’t an alternative.

“When he went on a different drug, it was terrible; he was violent and out of control,” says Albina. “Breast growth is the lesser of two evils, but he shouldn’t be in a position like this. I saw my son grow up with breasts like a teenage girl, and they grew larger.”

Albina says her son was three years old in 1991 when he showed signs of autism. He has been taking Risperdal since 1997, but it wasn’t approved to treat children and young adults with autism until 2006.

“My son has very limited ability to talk so he doesn’t know that he suffers from gynecomastia,” says Albina. “He is 180 lbs and 5' 10" and he needs supervision 24/7. But that shouldn’t have anything to do with a Risperdal claim: I am mad at the manufacturer for knowing about Risperdal side effects for so long.”

In the complaint filed against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (3:14-cv-02739), Andrew Wasserman allegedly developed breasts after using Risperdal and he underwent a double mastectomy.

In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil charges regarding the marketing of Risperdal and other drugs. Among other charges, the drug companies were accused of improperly promoting the off-label use of Risperdal in children long before any pediatric indications were approved in 2006. Albina’s son was prescribed Risperdal nine years before it was approved.

The giant drugmaker also agreed to five Risperdal gynecomastia settlements, according to Bloomberg News. One boy started taking Risperdal when he was nine years old, the same age as Albina’s son. His Risperdal lawsuit claimed that his gynecomastia caused him psychological trauma and he had surgery to have the breast tissue removed. Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement on the first day of trial, which was scheduled in mid-September 2012. At that time, more than 420 Risperdal lawsuits had been filed, 130 of which are Risperdal gynecomastia claims.

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