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Drug firms tell Arkansas Supreme Court that award of $1.2B over antipsychotics drug was error

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A lawyer for two drug companies told the Arkansas Supreme Court that the state improperly relied on federal regulations in a lawsuit that resulted in a $1.2 billion award over the companies' marketing of an antipsychotics drug.

The state's attorneys countered during Thursday's hearing before the high court that Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary were properly penalized for improper marketing of the drug Risperdal.

A Pulaski County jury ruled against the companies in 2012.

The companies also argued that the state brought the case under a Medicaid fraud law when there were no indications of improper reimbursements.

Sixty-five legislators filed a friend of the court brief saying the law was properly applied.

Johnson & Johnson separately agreed to a $2.2 billion federal settlement on similar claims.

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