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Drug Co.: No one in SC was harmed in $327M case

By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary says South Carolina's high court should overturn a multi-million-dollar penalty over deceptive drug marketing, in part because no one in the state was hurt.

Attorney Mitch Brown told the state Supreme Court on Thursday that Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. should not have to pay a $327 million penalty because no South Carolinians were harmed by the company's actions.

In 2011, a South Carolina jury said Janssen broke the law by downplaying links between diabetes and its schizophrenia drug Risperdal and by improperly claiming the drug was safer than competing medications. A judge assessed a $327 million penalty against the company, the largest drug marketing award to date in South Carolina.

Prosecutors say the ruling and penalties should stand.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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