Record South Carolina Settlement Reached With Eli Lilly

A record settlement, against Eli Lily, the biggest between the company and any state, was reached with South Carolina Friday October 23rd to the tune of $45,000.000 over the marketing of Zyprexa according to an article in The State, Record drug settlement reached.

State legislators will have a say on how $38,000,000 of this settlement is spent, the rest going to attorney fees and the attorney general’s office.

This is a historic settlement for the state of South Carolina, the second largest after a cigarette making company case in 1998.

It also is the largest dollar amount any individual state has won from Eli Lilly. Connecticut is second with a $30 million settlement. South Carolina and other states have brought action against the drug maker claiming that it falsely marketed Zyprexa, a drug approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

64,000 South Carolina patients were affected from 1996-2007 according to the suit.

South Carolina and other states argued Eli Lilly:

— Did not properly warn of the drug’s side effects, including heart problems, diabetes, hyperglycemia and an increased risk of death in patients with dementia.
— Falsely marketed the drug to treat other illnesses, including depression and attention deficit disorder.

The parallels between the pharmaceutical industry and the tobacco industry I hope are not lost on the general public. There are drugs that do more harm than they do good, and yet the claim is that these drugs are medicinal.

Sustained damage from taking a physician prescribed pharmaceutical product is not the kind of result we should be seeking. Unfortunately, this is all too often the result we find we have.