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Lilly repudiates New York Times article

Us pharma company Eli Lilly has hit back against an article published by the New York Times online on March 15 that said e-mails advised the promotion of Zyprexa for unapproved uses.

Us pharma company Eli Lilly has hit back against an article published by the New York Times online on March 15 that said e-mails advised the promotion of Zyprexa for unapproved uses.

A court in Anchorage in the State of Alaska heard that an email sent by Lilly's then vice president for pharmaceutical products Dr John Lechleiter allegedly encouraged the schizophrenia medicine for use with children.

The Times reported that Lechleiter said in the message that Eli Lilly "must seize the opportunity to expand our work with Zyprexa" for use in a children already being treated for mental health disorders.

Calling the article "flat out wrong", Eli Lilly said: "The Times article not only mischaracterised Dr Lechleiter's email, which the court deemed inadmissible, but significantly minimised Lilly's perspective on this topic, resulting in a very skewed and inaccurate article."

"Dr Lechleiter's email was nothing more than a call to action to ensure Lilly's development organisation placed a high priority on conducting clinical trails to address these important medical questions," Eli Lilly added.

According to Eli Lilly, physicians had already been prescribing Zyprexa to children in an attempt to secure a more manageable and better life for those suffering from mental health problems and psychosis.

Eli Lilly is currently being sued by the State of Alaska for compensation they claim is owed to patients who developed diabetes whilst using the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.

17th March 2008

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