Life Sciences

Eli Lilly to pay $62M for improperly marketing Zyprexa

Pharma Compliance Alert, October 8, 2008

Eli Lilly agreed to pay $62 million to 32 states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations it improperly marketed its antipsychotic medication Zyprexa, according to a company statement.

The settlement ended an 18-month investigation into Lilly’s sales, marketing, and promotion of Zyprexa. In addition to the monetary fine, Lilly will undertake certain commitments regarding Zyprexa for a period of six years following the agreement, through consent decrees filed in the various states.

These commitments relate to the company's:
  • Promotional practices
  • Dissemination of medical information
  • Funding of continuing medical education and grants related to Zyprexa
  • Continued disclosure of Zyprexa clinical trials and their results

Lilly also agreed to provide information related to compensation made to healthcare professionals who receive more than $100 annually from the company for promotional speaking or consulting regarding Zyprexa in the U.S.

Eleven other states have filed lawsuits over Zyprexa and are not covered by this agreement.

Lilly has paid $1.2 billion to resolve claims brought by more than 31,000 patients who said they weren't adequately warned about Zyprexa’s side effects. In March, Lilly and the state of Alaska announced a $15 million settlement in a lawsuit over the use of Zyprexa in the state’s Medicaid program.

Documents submitted as evidence in a lawsuit filed in Alaska allegedly show Lilly knew about the connection between Zyprexa and diabetes, but told sales representatives to downplay the risks. Lilly allegedly encouraged sales representatives to promote the drug for off-label uses. 

Lilly is also in talks with the federal government to resolve allegations it improperly marketed Zyprexa and hid the side effects. The federal settlement could be as much as $1–$2 billion.

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