Popular Zyprexa linked to illnesses; Schizophrenia drug at center of lawsuit

Plain Dealer

By Harlan Spector

The Ohio Medicaid program has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, at the same time Ohio and other states pursue its maker in court because of adverse medical problems caused by the drug.

For several years, the schizophrenia drug introduced in 1996 has been linked to extreme weight gain and elevated blood sugar that causes diabetes. Its maker, Eli Lilly and Co.,  has settled more than 28,000 cases for more than $1 billion and faces still more lawsuits and investigations.

Several states are investigating whether Lilly improperly marketed the drug and concealed its risks. Some are suing to recover Medicaid money spent caring for Zyprexa users.

Lilly said in a statement that it is cooperating with state attorneys general but can’t comment further. Ohio has not sued directly but has attached claims – for $7.5 million so far – to lawsuits involving 1,100 Ohio Medicaid beneficiaries…

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