Eli Lilly Reaches Zyprexa Settlement with West VirginiaAug 21, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Drug maker Eli Lilly has agreed to another multimillion dollar Zyprexa settlement, this time with the state of West Virginia. According to Bloomberg.com, the $22.5 million settlement resolves the state's clams that the company improperly marketed Zyprexa. West Virginia was seeking reimbursement for Medicaid money spent on the drug.
Eli Lilly still faces other lawsuits filed by states that claim Zyprexa was marketed for unapproved uses, such as dementia and depression. These lawsuits also allege that Eli Lilly withheld information about Zyprexa side effects, like diabetes and weight gain. The drug, which is the company's biggest seller, is approved to treat schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Other states with pending Zyprexa claims include Connecticut, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and seven others, Bloomberg.com said.
According to Bloomberg.com, South Carolina's Zyprexa lawsuit is scheduled for trial in September. The only other state lawsuit to go to trial thus far was one filed by Alaska, which ended in a $15 million out-of-court settlement.
Under the terms of the West Virginia Zyprexa settlement, Eli Lilly will pay $15.75 million to West Virginia and $6.75 million to lawyers representing the state. Of the state's share, $14.75 million is to be used to fund behavioral mental health services and $1 million for consumer protection purposes in the state, Bloomberg.com said.
In addition to the payment, the West Virginia Zyprexa settlement also imposes restrictions on Eli Lilly regarding Zyprexa marketing. For example, for the next six years, Eli Lilly will be barred from utilizing marketing or sales personnel in the development of Zyprexa medical letters or references, Bloomberg. com said.
The West Virginia agreement is only the latest Zyprexa settlement struck by Eli Lilly. According to Bloomberg.com, in January the company struck a deal with the U.S. Justice Department in which it promised to pay $1.42 billion, including about $362 million to more than 30 states, to resolve a marketing probe. In October, Eli Lilly agreed to pay 32 states and the District of Columbia a total of $62 million to settle consumer protection claims over improper marketing.