On August 17, two more Risperdal cases were given trial dates, following the trial of 3 earlier cases. These suits are part of a larger mass tort consolidated in Philadelphia, in which plaintiffs allege that defendants including Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, failed to provide adequate warnings that the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal could cause serious side effects. Although more than 1400 similar cases are currently pending in Philadelphia alone, the trial of these early “bellwether” test cases is designed to facilitate a larger settlement that could have a significant impact on healthcare payers. Depending on how these two cases are resolved, one or more defendants could propose a global offer to settle all similar Risperdal claims, including medical liens, by the end of 2015 or early 2016. If a settlement is reached, healthcare payers who are prepared to assert their full lien rights have an opportunity to recover the large sums associated with treatment of the drug’s serious side effects.
Use of Risperdal has been linked in some cases to incidences of stroke, involuntary body tremors, metabolic changes including diabetes and weight gain, and an increased risk of falls and fractures, leading to thousands of claims being filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other drug makers. The cases currently consolidated in this mass tort allege that the drug caused a condition known as gynecomastia, in which male patients developed enlarged breast tissue after taking the drug.
If a global settlement is offered for these claims, healthcare payers may be entitled to claim a reimbursement for treatments provided to persons who suffered these side effects. However, any settlement would be unlikely to offer a full reimbursement to healthcare payers. As in previous similar settlements, the private lien resolution program (PLRP) established would likely try to limit a healthcare payer’s recovery to a fraction of its lien. In these instances, healthcare payers’ recoveries have been limited to as little as 15% of their actual documented expenses. In some of these cases, the PLRP may have fairly and efficiently compensated healthcare payers for their expenses, but the PLRP is not the only option. Healthcare Recovery Solutions can provide a different course of action for healthcare payers who wish to pursue a larger recovery than what is offered by the PLRP.
To seek recovery of all associated medical expenses, a healthcare payer must be able to specifically identify costs associated with Risperdal, and all subsequent related treatments for each patient. HRS has the technology to identify and compile these claims quickly, and the resources to recover the largest amount possible. Without these tools, payers risk losing hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in potential recoveries—whether they choose to participate in the settlement PLRP or not. No matter which course of action a healthcare payer chooses, HRS can provide the ability to assert its full lien rights, and recover the maximum amount available. For more information, contact email@example.com.