Friday, June 10, 2005

Lilly to settle Zyprexa claims for up to $690M

The Indianapolis Star
June 10, 2005

Lilly to settle for up to $690M: Deal may resolve 8,000 Zyprexa claims

Eli Lilly and Co. said Thursday it will pay up to $690 million to settle legal claims by about 8,000 patients alleging they were harmed by the antipsychotic Zyprexa, Lilly's top-selling drug.

The proposed settlement comes six months before the first trial in a rash of Zyprexa lawsuits is scheduled to begin in federal court in New York.

The Indianapolis drug maker said it's not admitting in the agreement that its star drug caused the diabetes-related injuries alleged by claimants, many of whom are schizophrenia patients. The drug also is approved to treat manic depression...Lilly has maintained that its drug is not to blame for diabetes-related problems. Lechleiter said schizophrenia patients are prone to weight gain and also suffer a fourfold greater incidence of diabetes than the general population.

But according to a Pfizer press release, reprinted on a NAMI affiliate site, "antipsychotic" drugs are themselves responsible for weight gain among "schizophrenics":

"The dramatic weight gain often associated with some of the most widely prescribed antipsychotic medicines is the side effect most likely to cause patients to stop taking their medication, according to a nationwide survey of psychiatrists released today at the 155th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association."

The press release also says:
"Ninety percent of the psychiatrists surveyed by Roper Starch Worldwide said they believe that weight gain not only affects compliance, but patients' self-esteem as well, and 80 percent said they believe weight gain adversely impacts their patients' overall quality of life."

Schizophrenics have self-esteem? Who knew? And this self-esteem is adversely impacted by weight gain, but not by imprisonment, restraint, electroshock, and the rest of the psychiatric armamentarium? Or perhaps obliterating the self-esteem and quality of life of persons labeled schizophrenic is the point. It sure doesn't seem to harm the quality of life and self-esteem of the psychiatrists.


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