Life Sciences

Lilly nears federal Zyprexa settlement

Pharma Compliance Alert, October 29, 2008

Eli Lilly’s total legal expenses for suits relating to its antipsychotic medication Zyprexa could soon top $2.6 billion.

Lilly announced it is nearing a settlement to resolve ongoing investigations led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania about its marketing practices for Zyprexa at a cost of $1.4 billion.

The federal government began investigating whether Lilly illegally marketed Zyprexa for off-label uses, including dementia and mild bipolar disorder. A total of 41 states and the District of Columbia also launched investigations into the company’s marketing practices. If approved, the settlement would resolve the Zyprexa-related federal claims, as well as similar Medicaid-related claims of states participating in the settlement.

On October 7, Lilly agreed to pay $62 million to 32 states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations it improperly marketed Zyprexa. Eleven other states that sued over Zyprexa were not covered by the 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.

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