Friday, January 16, 2009

Tennessee to Get $11.3 Million from Eli Lilly

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge Zypreza.jpg

The Tennessee attorney general's office announced yesterday that the Volunteer State will be getting $11.3 million from Eli Lilly. The money is part of a more than $1.4 billion payoff that the company will be handing out to a number of states to settle allegations of misleading advertising of its anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.

Between 1995 and 2005 the company advertised the drug as a treatment for depression, anxiety, irritability, disrupted sleep, nausea and gambling addiction, through an ad campaign called "Viva Zyprexa," according to a presser from  the AG's office.

Turns out that the FDA had not approved the drug for any of the above uses.

During the campaign, Lilly provided incentives to doctors to proscribe Zyprexa for children and adolescents(!) in unapproved dosage amounts.

"None of these uses were medically acceptable for reimbursement by state Medicaid programs," says the AG's office.

There is also a criminal case pending in the U.S. Eastern District Court, charging Lilly with a misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. In a plea agreement, the company has agreed to pay a $615 million "criminal fine."

That's an expensive misdemeanor!

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