I sent this note to attorney Steven Phillips of Pincus & Currier, LLP at the end of August, 2012:
The consumer protection settlement announced this morning is based on a long-running investigation into whether Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, paid kickbacks to providers to use the drug for unapproved purposes such as managing elderly in nursing homes – while downplaying safety concerns.
The author of that article in the Oregon press, Nick Budnick, requested for people specifically affected by Risperdal to send him their stories. At 1:42 PM on August 31st, 2012, I sent him this email:
My mother was prescribed Risperdal on Tuesday, August 7th, by a psychiatrist who met with her one time for less than fifteen minutes.
Her nurses called her doctor to get his approval and — of course — he approved it immediately without question.
Her nurses then called me to get my approval and I denied it. (She had been administered Risperdal in January and December and it simply made her completely unresponsive. I forced them to stop administering it to her and her condition improved.)
They told me they understood that I did not want her given that drug, and told me that they would have the psychiatrist call me.
Without telling me, they began giving her the drug anyway.
The psychiatrist never called me. I learned on the night of August 10th that they were giving her Risperdal against my wishes. I spent hours on the phone with the nursing home all night on the 10th and all morning on the 11th. They refused to communicate with me — even though they knew I was legally her representative — and hung up on me (literally) four separate times. I begged. I actually begged them, crying, pleading with them to stop.
She died on August 12th of a heart attack.
I have extensive, detailed documentation of every phone call I’ve had with every doctor and nurse and therapist for the last nine months.
This all happened in Florida.
Nick replied to me at 4:26 PM on September 4th:
Thank you for writing. What a terrible, terrible story. To clarify, do you live in Oregon?
I responded to him twelve minutes later:
No, I’m sorry but I don’t live in Oregon. I live in Los Angeles.
He never responded to that, so I assume he was only interested in stories about people in Oregon.