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Doctor pays Lilly USD 100,000 for leaked Zyprexa documents

A doctor who leaked information about Eli Lilly's antipsychotic drug Zyprexa settles a legal dispute over the confidential documents

A doctor who leaked confidential materials about Eli Lilly's antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) has agreed to settle a legal dispute with the US pharmaceutical company over the confidential documents.

Dr David S Egilman, who was an expert witness in a lawsuit against Lilly, will pay USD 100,000 which the company said it would donate to charity.

Egilman said in a declaration filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn that he supplied documents to a lawyer in Alaska who sent them to a reporter for The New York Times. He added that the documents did not present Lilly's perspective on the antipsychotic treatment.

The documents were among evidence provided by Lilly as part of a lawsuit filed by patients who say that Zyprexa's side effects caused excessive weight gain and diabetes.

New York Times reporter, Alex Berenson, who was in receipt of the leaked document, wrote articles saying that Lilly executives had kept information from doctors about Zyprexa's links to obesity and higher blood sugar. Lilly strenuously denied this accusation.

In February 2007, Judge Jack B Weinstein ordered Egilman and Alaskan lawyer, James B Gottstein, to return the documents to Lilly. They are, however, still widely available on the web.

Lilly has paid out over USD 1bn to settle more than 28,000 cases from individuals who claimed that they developed diabetes or other diseases from taking Zyprexa.

In addition, lawmakers from 30 US states have subpoenaed documents detailing Lilly's sales, marketing and promotional practices for Zyprexa, as part of a civil investigation under state consumer protection laws.

Lilly sells abandoned US site
According to local media reports, Lilly is to sell the half-developed site of its insulin manufacturing facility located in Prince William County in the state of Virginia.

Lilly was more than halfway into the construction of an insulin-manufacturing facility in Innovation at the Prince William Technology Park, when it decided to ramp up production at its other manufacturing sites instead. The site is now on sale for USD 31.4m

Lilly is in the process of seeking buyers and has divided the 48.6-hectare site into smaller pieces to attract smaller, local biotech companies.

30th September 2008

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