Lilly Considers $1 Billion Fine to Settle Case

New York Times

By ALEX BERENSON

Eli Lilly and federal prosecutors are discussing a settlement of a civil and criminal investigation into the company’s marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa that could result in Lilly’s paying more than $1 billion to federal and state governments.

Drug Files Show Maker Promoted Unapproved Use (December 18, 2006) If a deal is reached, the fine would be the largest ever paid by a drug company for breaking the federal laws that govern how drug makers can promote their medicines.

Several people involved in the investigation confirmed the settlement discussions, which began last year and took on new urgency this month. The people insisted on anonymity because they have not been authorized to talk about the negotiations.

Zyprexa has serious side effects and is approved only to treat people with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. But documents from Eli Lilly show that from 2000 to 2003 the company encouraged doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to people with age-related dementia, as well as people with mild bipolar disorder who had previously had a diagnosis of depression…

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