Life Sciences

Court documents: AstraZeneca knew about Seroquel diabetes risks in 2000

Pharma Compliance Alert, December 10, 2008

It just got tougher for AstraZeneca to defend itself in lawsuits centering on its antipsychotic drug Seroquel.

Internal company documents shown in federal court last week suggest the company knew about the diabetes risks associated with Seroquel as far back as 2000, according to a Bloomberg article. Portions of the documents were revealed in court during a hearing over the qualifications of expert witnesses the plaintiffs plan to call in a February trial. The complete documents remain under seal at AstraZeneca’s request.

AstraZeneca is facing claims in both state and federal courts and is not the only pharmaceutical manufacturer under fire for its antipsychotic drugs. Thousands of consumers have sued AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson, claiming the companies hid side effects of the products and marketed them for off-label uses. So far, Lilly has paid $1.2 billion to settle 31,000 claims by individuals and an additional $62 million to settle claims of improper marketing by 32 states and the District of Columbia.

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