Jump directly to the Content

News&Reporting

Just the Cost of Doing (Drug) Business

Continued drug company payouts prompt questions about who's minding medicine.

Last week the Justice Department announced that drug company Eli Lilly had agreed to pay $1.42 billion to settle criminal and civil charges that it had illegally marketed its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. The case accused company sales reps of promoting the drug for conditions beyond its narrow FDA-approved use of treating schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder, and for populations (children and the elderly) for whom its known side effects are particularly risky. The New York Times report indicates that claims and evidence in the case were similar to a California state lawsuit which alleged that company studies of the drug circulated among its sales force were "Lilly's thinly veiled marketing of Zyprexa as an effective chemical restraint for demanding, vulnerable and needy patients."

While the settlement was the largest amount paid by a single defendant in the history of the US department of Justice, it is dwarfed by the $39 billion in sales Zyprexa has generated since ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.