A Philadelphia jury awarded $3 Million to a family of a five year-old girl who suffered a severe cleft lip and cleft palate birth injury due to the mother’s use of Topamax during pregnancy. The jury found that the drug maker, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, failed to warn the public about the risks of Topamax during pregnancy.
Topamax is prescribed for severe migraines and as an anti-seizure medication. Annual sales of the drug were over $2 billion. Evidence and arguments at trial suggested that Janssen ignored important red flags about risk of birth defect and only updated their warnings after the FDA forced them to do so.
Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen company was ordered to pay $4.02 million in an October, 2013 verdict and $11 million in a November, 2013 verdict in two other Topamax birth defect cases.