Eli Lilly & Co. said Tuesday it will pay $62 million to resolve investigations into the marketing and promotion of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa in 32 states and Washington, D.C.
The payments will be divided between the states that were investigating the company, and Lilly said it will take a related charge of 4 cents per share in the third quarter. Zyprexa, the company’s top-selling drug with 2007 sales of $4.8 billion, will continue to be available through Medicare programs in all states, and Lilly said there was no finding it had broken any laws.
The company also agreed to provide the states’ attorneys general with information about the compensation it paid to health care professionals who received more than $100 per year for promotional speaking or consulting regarding Zyprexa, and agreed to other promotional terms.
A group of insurance companies, unions and others are currently suing the Indianapolis-based drugmaker for billions of dollars, saying Lilly charged too much for Zyprexa and marketed the drug for off-label uses, or ailments the drug has not been FDA-approved to treat. A federal judge in July recommended that Lilly settle that case.
The states involved in Tuesday’s settlement are Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
The company is also being sued by 11 other states not included in Tuesday’s settlement: Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.
Lilly paid $15 million to settle a lawsuit with the state of Alaska in March, and since 2005, the company says it has settled approximately 31,000 individual product liability suits related to the drug’s side effects. Those side effects include neuroleptic malignant syndrome and hyperglycemia.
OUR COMMENT – We estimate Lilly spent far more than the final settlement attempting to halt information about their strategic mismarketing of Zyprexia. We applaud the Electronic Frontier Foundation and people like Philip Dawdy at Furious Seasons, for making this vital health information public and available for medical providers and consumers.