Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lilly in Settlement Talks With U.S. DOJ

The New York Times reports that Eli Lilly is in negotiation talks with the US Justice department to settle both civil and criminal investigations of the company's marketing of its toxic diabetes-inducing antipsychotic, Zyprexa. If the settlement is reached, the Times reports, Lilly would pay the biggest fine in history.

In a recent study in The Lancet, compared Risperdal an antipsychotic in the same class as Zyprexa, to placebo in calming aggression--which is the primary reason that Zyprexa and Risperdal are prescribed. They found the harmless placebo to be more effective:

The authors concluded: "Antipsychotic drugs should no longer be regarded as an acceptable routine treatment for aggressive challenging behaviour in people with intellectual disability."Underscoring the total failure by the US government to take meaningful action to protect the public health as well as the public wealth, The Times reports: "But the company would be allowed to keep selling Zyprexa to Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs that are the biggest customers of the drug. Zyprexa is Lilly's most profitable product and among the worlds best-selling medicines, with 2007 sales of $4.8 billion, about half in the United States." Indeed, Medicaid pays for about 70% go 80% of the antipsychotic drug prescriptions.

All anyone involved cares about is money - as they lend their government seal of approval that leads the lambs to slaughter.


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Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav

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