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J&J Agrees to Pay $2.2B for Promoting Drugs for Unapproved Uses

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Johnson & Johnson, along with three of its subsidiaries, has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in what is one of the largest health care fraud settlements in U.S. history, the Department of Justice announced on Monday.

The settlement stems from claims that Johnson & Johnson "marketed prescription drugs for uses that were never approved as safe and effective and that they paid kickbacks to both physicians and pharmacies for prescribing and promoting these drugs," Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday.

The drugs in question include the anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, and the heart drug Natrecor, Holder said.

"The companies lined their pockets at the expense of taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry," the attorney general said.

Calling the actions shameful, Holder said not only were patients endangered, but taxpayers paid billions for excessive medicare and Medicaid charges.

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