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The Associated Press December 21, 2011, 4:17PM ET

SC judge upholds $327M verdict for J&J marketing

A South Carolina judge has upheld a $327 million civil penalty against Johnson & Johnson, which was found guilty by a jury of overstating the safety and effectiveness of antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Attorneys for the state say it's the biggest verdict in the country over the marketing of Risperdal. The pill for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder once brought J&J more than $3.4 billion in annual sales.

But it's been mired for years in litigation over alleged kickbacks, promotion for unapproved uses and other efforts to boost Risperdal over competing drugs. Dozens of pending state and federal cases allege illegal marketing practices for Risperdal, including one in which Texas is seeking up to $1 billion.

J&J of New Brunswick, N.J., says it will appeal the South Carolina ruling.

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