State settles lawsuit over lack of warnings on dangerous drug – Eli Lilly to pay $15 million in first of many cases

Anchorage Daily News

LISA DEMER

Just days before its case would have gone to a jury, the state settled a lawsuit against Eli Lilly over the drug Zyprexa for $15 million in a deal that disappointed lawyers fighting in court for the state but was still a “good result,” according to Attorney General Talis Colberg.

The state of Alaska sued for unspecific millions to cover costs to the state Medicaid program for treating what it said were Zyprexa-related health problems, including diabetes and severe weight gain.

Had the case gone to a jury, whoever lost would have appealed and the matter wouldn’t have been decided for months if not years, lawyers said.

Evidence presented during the trial in Anchorage Superior Court suggested Lilly failed to clearly warn doctors of dangerous side effects because company officials worried it would reduce sales. Testimony began March 6.

Zyprexa is a widely used anti-psychotic and Lilly’s best selling product worldwide.

A team of Outside lawyers in court every day for the state didn’t want to settle. One of them, Scott Allen of Houston, Texas, didn’t show up Wednesday for the announcement…

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