Monthly Archives: November 2006

McGraw’s Zyprexa case sent to federal court in Brooklyn

by Steve Korris

West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw’s lawsuit against drug maker Eli Lilly and Company has landed in federal court at Brooklyn.

The federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Oct. 18 consolidated McGraw’s suit into a mass of claims in the Eastern District of New York.

McGraw sued Eli Lilly at Mason County courthouse in Point Pleasant in February, claiming the antidepressant drug Zyprexa harmed West Virginia citizens.

Eli Lilly removed the suit to U. S. District Court in Huntington in April and moved to transfer it to the Eastern District of New York.

At the federal court in Brooklyn, U. S. District Judge Jack Weinstein handles a mass of Zyprexa claims under authority of the multidistrict panel.

McGraw argued that his suit did not belong with the others in Brooklyn because the others sued as individuals and he sued for a state.

He argued that he raised issues of West Virginia law while the others raised issues of product liability.

Multidistrict panel chairman Terrell Hodges, U. S. District Judge in Florida, wrote in a transfer order that, “We are unpersuaded by this argument.”

He wrote, “Regardless of the differences in legal theory, the claims in the Southern District of West Virginia action similarly arise from representations about the safety of Zyprexa and its adverse effects, in particular, the incidence of diabetes and related diseases in users.”…


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Brown inherits legal drug problem

By Rob Luke

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–California Attorney General Bill Lockyer recently left yet another state legal-action headache for his successor, Jerry Brown, to remedy.

Several leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Eli Lilly & Co., AstraZeneca PLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., recently revealed that they have received subpoenas from Lockyer’s office to reveal information about their anti-psychotic prescription drugs. The subpoena requests marketing practices and status on California’s insurance list of “preferred drugs.”

Eli Lilly’s anti-schizophrenic drug Zyprexa racked up $4.2 billion in sales last year while AstraZeneca’s Seroquil notched $2.76 billion. The companies say they are in the initial stages of complying with AG’s subpoena.

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California AG Issues More Subpoenas Over Drug Marketing

Washington Drug Letter

Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have joined AstraZeneca as targets of subpoenas from the California Office of the Attorney General over marketing practices for top-selling antipsychotic drugs.

The Eli Lilly subpoena is for documents relating to its marketing and promotional practices for Zyprexa (olanzapine), which is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as the company’s efforts to obtain and maintain the drug’s status on California’s formulary and its remuneration of healthcare providers.

Company spokesman Phil Belt told WDL the company is cooperating with the request and is not adding anything else to its announcement.

The company also said that it continues to be a defendant in many Zyprexa product liability lawsuits, the majority of which allege that the drug caused or contributed to diabetes or high blood-glucose levels. Almost all of the federal lawsuits are part of a “multi-district litigation” before Judge Jack Weinstein in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York…

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California subpoenas J & J unit over drug

Los Angeles Times

From Bloomberg News

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit received a subpoena from the California attorney general’s office over sales and marketing of Risperdal, a schizophrenia drug.

The subpoena was issued in September, Johnson & Johnson said in a regulatory filing. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company said it was responding.

California authorities asked for documents on “sales and marketing and side effects” of the drug, as well as on “interactions with state officials” in Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, the filing said.

J&J shares fell 72 cents to $67.99.

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