Lilly agrees to settle more state Zyprexa suits

September 22, 2009

Eli Lilly and Co. has agreed to confidential terms to settle lawsuits brought by seven states alleging the company illegally marketed bestselling antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, Bloomberg News reported today.

An official appointed by the federal court in Brooklyn said all seven states have agreed to essentially the same terms, Bloomberg reported. The news service did not name any of the seven states, which sued Lilly to recover money spent by their state Medicaid programs for Zyprexa.

Lilly has been sued by both federal and state governments, as well as thousands of patients, for marketing Zyprexa for uses not approved by U.S. regulators. In January, Lilly pleaded guilty to a felony count of illegal marketing and agreed to pay $1.4 billion, of which $362 million would go to state governments.

Lilly also settled with two states independently, Alaska and West Virginia, agreeing to pay them $15 million and $22.5 million, respectively.

If the latest settlements are approved, Bloomberg reported, it would leave only four states that have yet to settle.

“We’re in advanced discussions with a number of states that are still outstanding,” Lilly spokeswoman Marni Lemons told Bloomberg. “There is nothing that is finalized.”

The latest agreements have not been finalized, attorneys in the case told Bloomberg, because the states are waiting to see how much the federal government claims in compensation for dollars it spent on Zyprexa through the Medicaid program, which is jointly financed by federal and state governments.

In July, Lilly said it had set aside $102 million for settling several state lawsuits, including last month’s deal with West Virginia.


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