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Judge Unseals Confidential Zyprexa Documents

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 11:30 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Defective Drugs, Zyprexa, Antipsychotic Drugs, Eli Lilly, Class Action Lawsuit


IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons / Zyprexa / author: Zozza

A federal district court judge granted a motion to unseal hundreds of confidential documents about Zyprexa, Eli Lilly’s popular antipsychotic drug.

Judge Jack Weinstein's decision came as part of another ruling granting class-action status to a case brought by pension funds, labor unions and insurance companies that want Eli Lilly to reimburse them for millions of dollars overspent on Zyprexa.

They contend the company knowingly withheld information regarding the drugs side effects while marketing it for off-label use.

The group suing Eli Lilly claims the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by way of mail fraud. The plaintiffs claim Lilly’s actions resulted in them being overcharged for Zyprexa by more than $7 billion dollars.

They further claim the drug’s price was artificially inflated by false claims that Zyprexa was significantly more effective than previous generations of antipsychotic drugs.

In the same ruling the judge refused class action status to individuals that are suing Lilly over their own personal injuries from Zyprexa use.

The confidential documents were created by Lilly regarding a related lawsuit filed against them by patients claiming Zyprexa causes diabetes and excessive weight gain. The judge ordered the documents sealed in 2004.

“The company’s legitimate interest in confidentiality does not outweigh public interest in disclosure at this late stage,” Judge Weinstein wrote.

Lilly has plans to appeal the judge’s decision granting class-action status, but they will not appeal the court’s decision to unseal the documents, said Marni Lemons, a spokeswoman for Lilly.

The confidential information came to light in 2006, when Zyprexa documents were given to Alex Berenson, of the New York Times, who wrote several articles based on evidence contained in the documents claiming Eli Lilly executives had withheld information from health care providers about Zyprexa’s link to high blood pressure and obesity.

The company denied withholding any such information claiming the documents provided by Mr. Berenson were biased and gave a one-sided view.

Following the printing of confidential information, Judge Weinstein rebuked Berenson and others for conspiring to illegally release the documents. In his recent ruling, Judge Weinstein again said the documents had been illegally obtained by The Times, citing this country’s general policy of readily accessible court records.

A recent study found, elderly patients who are given antipsychotic drugs, such as Zyprexa, are three times as likely to experience serious health problems or death within a month of use, compared to those patients not given the drugs, according to recent findings by Canadian researchers. #

1 Comment

Posted by Daniel Haszard
Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:05 AM EST

Zyprexa has generated a lot of bad press for Eli Lilly and they still have unresolved Zyprexa settlement claims.
Eli Lilly is 'reaping the whirlwind' for aggressive marketing of Zyprexa that has caused suffering and deaths.
Daniel Haszard Zyprexa patient who got diabetes from it.

Comments for this article are closed.

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