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Lilly faces suit over Zyprexa

March 12, 2008|From Reuters

The state of Connecticut sued Eli Lilly & Co. on Tuesday, accusing the drug maker of illegally marketing and concealing serious side effects of its top-selling schizophrenia medicine, Zyprexa.

Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal is seeking to recover "millions of taxpayer and consumer dollars improperly spent on Zyprexa as a result of its illegal marketing, and millions more spent for treatment of serious side effects from Zyprexa," according to a statement.

Indianapolis-based Lilly is in a trial in Alaska that began this month in which the state has made similar claims involving the drug. Zyprexa, Lilly's biggest product, had sales of $4.76 billion in 2007including U.S. sales of $2.24 billion.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Lilly is accused of promoting Zyprexa for unapproved uses, including the treatment of children, and of hiding dangerous side effects, such as an increased risk of heart problems.

Lilly denied the allegations. "Lilly is committed to the highest ethical standards and to promoting our medications only for approved uses," a spokeswoman said.

Lilly shares rose $1.17 to $50.59.

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