Johnson & Johnson hit with $12b verdict over drug possibly linked to growth of female breast tissue in boys

A Philadelphia jury has decided that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals should pay $12 billion over an antipsychotic drug that the plaintiff's attorneys say is linked to the growth of female breast tissue in boys.

A law firm for the plaintiff released a statement Tuesday saying the companies used an organised scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug called Risperdal.

In New Zealand the drug is called Risperidone.

Johnson & Johnson says the jury's award "is grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case," and that the company is "confident it will be overturned."

Headquarters of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick. Source: Associated Press