VA Awards New Contract for Useless Drug

Saturday, August 27, 2011
On August 2 researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs published a paper that concluded the anti-psychotic drug, risperidone, was no more effective than a placebo when it came to helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Despite the availability of this information, the VA on August 11 ordered 20 million more risperidone pills from Mylan Pharmaceuticals.
The value of the Mylan contract was not made available. But it is known that the VA had spent more than $700 million on the drug before the new purchase was made.
Risperidone is the generic name for Risperdal, first developed by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson to treat severe mental conditions.
The Food and Drug Administration approved risperidone only for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder in children and adolescents. Doctors, however, can prescribe it for other conditions.
The Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are investigating Janssen for its sales and marketing of Risperdal.
-David Wallechinsky


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