More Zyprexa Personal Injury Claims Get Settled
By Gerri Elder
Eli Lilly and Co., the manufacturer of the antipscyhotic drug Zyprexa, has announced that it has settled another 900 product liability personal injury claims over the drug. Five of the claims that were settled had been set to go to court next month, and would have been the first Zyprexa cases to go to trial in the United States.
Eli Lilly has now settled over 25,000 personal injury claims filed by patients who were prescribed Zyprexa; there are approximately 1,100 claims left to be settled.
Many of the patients who filed personal injury claims against Eli Lilly alleged that the drug company downplayed the harmful side effects of Zyprexa, including elevated blood sugar and weight gain.
Eli Lilly has set aside $1.2 billion to pay the claims of patients who took Zyprexa. The company has not disclosed the amount of the most recent 900 settlements.
Zyprexa, the brand name of the drug Olanzapine, is used to treat bi-polar mania and schizophrenia. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.
As early as 2001, the FDA began receiving reports of diabetes induced by the use of Zyprexa.
In February 2004, Eli Lilly notified doctors and psychiatrists that Zyprexa use by elderly patients with dementia could cause an increased risk of stroke. Zyprexa was not approved by the FDA for elderly dementia patients, or for treatment of anxiety or depression. However, doctors have often prescribed the drug in different dosages and for different periods of time for medical conditions not approved by the FDA.
On April 11, 2005, the FDA issued an alert to advise health care professionals and patients that there are safety issues regarding the use of Zyprexa. The FDA asked the manufacturers of Zyprexa and other antipscyhotic drugs to include a warning on the drugs' labeling to describe the health risks and note that these drugs are not approved for medical conditions other than bi-polar mania and schizophrenia. It has been estimated that 75 percent of the 12 million people who have been prescribed Zyprexa do not suffer from bi-polar mania or schizophrenia.
On June 9, 2005, Eli Lilly announced that it had entered into an agreement in principle to settle approximately 8,000 personal injury claims related to the use of the defective drug Zyprexa. At that time, less than half of the 25,000 personal injury claims had been filed by patients who had taken Zyprexa.
The 8,000 claims that were settled in June 2005 involved people who claimed that they had developed diabetes-related medical conditions as a result of their use of Zyprexa.
All of the settlements made by Eli Lilly thus far have resulted in the dismissal of any claims against doctors or health care professionals who have been named as co-defendants in the Zyprexa personal injury claims.