Minnesota has joined a growing number of states charging the drugmaker with downplaying side effects of the antipsychotic and marketing the drug for unapproved uses. The state's attorney general filed a lawsuit in federal court last week, saying Minnesota spent more than $175 million through public health programs on Zyprexa prescriptions between 2000 and 2007.
Lilly has spent more than $1.1 billion since 2005 to settle product liability claims over Zyprexa and last month announced a $62 million settlement with 32 states and Washington, DC (look here). Minnesota, however, was not part of that case but has been holding settlement talks. "We weren't frankly...comfortable with the amount of money that was being offered to Minnesota, and we communicated that to the company and what our concerns were there," a spokeswoman for the AG tells the Associated Press (here is the lawsuit).
He declined to elaborate on the amount or the talks, citing their confidential Wogsland said the lawsuit helps the state learn more about the drug's impact on Minnesota through the discovery process, the AP writes.
Lilly's Zyprexa legal woes also include an investigation by the US Attorney's office in Philadelphia. The drugmaker recorded a loss in the third quarter largely due to a $1.4 billion charge related to the investigation of Zyprexa marketing practices. Lilly took the charge because advanced talks are being held over the investigation (back story).
Lilly has long maintained that it promotes its medications only for approved uses. A Lilly spokesman wrote the AP to say Lilly is committed "to the highest ethical standards and to promoting our medications only for approved uses...We have clear guidelines and extensive training for our sales representatives to help assure that they provide appropriate promotional information that is within the scope of prescribing information approved by the FDA."