Today the state of Connecticut filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Co. The lawsuit accuses the company of illegally marketing and obscuring negative side effects of the best selling drug Zyprexa. The lawsuit seeks to recover money spent on treating patients that have developed conditions as a result of taking Zyprexa and millions more spent on the drug as a result of illegal marketing practices. Lilly is currently defending itself in a similar trial brought by the state of Alaska.
Zyprexa is by far Lilly’s number one seller, with over $4.67 billion in sales in 2007 alone, despite the drug being linked to an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, and heart problems. The company has already spent some $1.2 billion to settle about 30,000 claims of people who allegedly developed diabetes as a result of taking Zyprexa.
Between 1996 and 2006, the Connecticut Medical Assistance Programs spent more than $190 million on Zyprexa, according to the news release announcing the lawsuit.
Shareholders have also enacted similar litigation in the state of Pennsylvania.
By the time all is said and done Lilly could be looking at another multibillion-dollar settlement.