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Lilly settles Alaskan court case

American pharma company Eli Lilly has reached an out-of-court settlement in the case surrounding its use of the drug Zyprexa in the Alaskan Medicaid programme

American pharma company Eli Lilly has reached an out-of-court settlement in the case surrounding its use of the drug Zyprexa in the Alaskan Medicaid programme.

The agreement resulted from ongoing mediation ordered by trial Judge Mark Rindner before the trial began. Lilly announced on March 26 that it will pay the US State of Alaska $15m as part of an arbitrated agreement following renewed mediation efforts by presiding Judge Morgan Christen. The payment is to settle claims that Zyprexa caused patients to develop diabetes. 

The deal means that Alaska will be treated as favourably as any other pursuant state but is not accompanied with an admission of wrong doing by Eli Lilly.

Alaska Attorney General Talis J Colberg said: "We believe this is a good result for the State of Alaska and the Department of Health and Social Services. I am very please with the efforts by Assistant Attorney General Ed Sniffen and our team of trail attorneys."

Robert Armitage, Lilly's senior vice-president and general counsel, said: "We believe this settlement is in the best interest of the company, the state, and, importantly, of the patients, families and healthcare professionals for whom Zyprexa is an important treatment option."

A trial always involves significant time and resources, especially a two-phase trial like this one that posed additional legal hurdles, said Armitage.

"A settlement helps us get back to what we want to focus on as a company: developing important new medications through research and partnerships with doctors and patients."

"Our decision to resolve this case does not change the fact that Zyprexa can continue to improve the lives of patients around the world who are suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," he added.

This out-of-court settlement comes not long after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal levied charges of corruption against Eli Lilly. [PMLive March 2008.]

Zyprexa is prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and has been used by 23 million people since it was granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.

26th March 2008

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