South Carolina’s treasury soon will have at least $124 million more, thanks to the state’s victory in a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 let stand a July ruling by the state’s highest court that Janssen Pharmaceuticals must pay $124.3 million of $327 million awarded by a Spartanburg jury in a case involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The state attorney general’s office accused Janssen of unfair trade practices by intentionally withholding the risks and side effects of the drug that is used largely to treat schizophrenia.
The company has until Feb. 25 to pay the state, a spokeswoman for the attorney general said Thursday.
The pharmaceutical company did not respond to The State newspaper’s request to discuss the payment.
State budget forecasters did not include the $124 million in the $1.2 billion extra money that lawmakers will have to spend in the state budget that takes effect July 1, said Frank Rainwater, chief economist for the Board of Economic Advisors. The state’s general fund budget is $7.5 billion.
Janssen and the attorneys representing the state are still wrangling over interest on the $124 million, a sum that could add perhaps millions to the total.
Attorney general’s office spokeswoman Hayley Thrift said the state’s position is that interest on the award dates to the trial judge’s decision in June 2011. She would not provide a figure on the amount of interest, but said interest should be calculated at 7.25 percent compounded annually.
Staff writer Cassie Cope contributed.