April 28, 2007

Lilly Knew Zyprexa Causes Severe Diabetes and Lied to Hide it!

In case you still are under the delusion that you can trust some drug companies to put patient health and safety ahead of profits, read this:

Lilly under Scrutiny on Capitol Hill

From the article:


According to Mr Gottstein in a February 13, 2007, interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Lilly's hidden document showed the rate at which Zyprexa causes diabetes, massive weight gain and other metabolic problems and that Lilly trained sales staff to mislead doctors about the drug's association with diabetes and illegally promoted Zyprexa for off-label use with children and the elderly. [Emphasis mine]

Families of deceased Zyprexa victims want criminal prosecutions. "Lilly executives should go to prison for knowingly being responsible for people's deaths, shattered families; ruined and grieving families," says Ellen Liversridge, whose 39-year-old son gained nearly 100 pounds while taking Zyprexa before he lapsed into a coma and died 4 days later of profound hyperglycemia in October 2002.

"Thanks to the FDA," she says, "there was no warning on the label of Zyprexa even though two other countries had made Lilly place warnings about diabetes, hyperglycemia, and death."

For its part, the secret documents show that Lilly was not the least bit concerned that patients like Ellen's son were developing diabetes. The company's one and only worry was that sales would fall when the news about Zyprexa's link to diabetes became made public. A July 7, 2003, "Diabetes Update" memo discussed the company's strategy to counter the negative impact on doctor's prescribing habits when news of the FDA's decision to add a black box warning about the diabetes risk to the label of Zyprexa became public.

"We must embrace the fact that many physicians are curtailing their use of Zyprexa (particularly in the moderately-ill patient and in the maintenance phase)," the Update said, "solely on the basis of personal fear (of being sued)."

To ward off the drop in Zyprexa prescriptions because doctors were afraid of being sued, the Update said Lilly should offer to indemnify doctors, in other words, cover any lawsuits filed against doctors as a result of prescribing Zyprexa. "Indemnification represents the most meaningful demonstration of confidence in Zyprexa--both with our customers and with our employees," the Update stated.

This plan was apparently successful with doctors after the risks of Prozac became public when documents disclosed in litigation that were also kept hidden under a court order were revealed in a subsequent lawsuit. "Our experience with Prozac," the Lilly memo states, "confirms the impact and goodwill of such an initiative."

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What a great drug for Lilly! It costs more than $300 a month AND it grows the market for Lilly's expensive insulins by creating many thousands of new, permanent, diabetics. Gotta love it. And if a bunch of people have to die to increase profits, well, you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Personally, I'd like to see the executives of these companies, the ones that knew that their drugs caused unnecessary deaths when prescribed off-label, and then put all their efforts into increasing off-label prescribing, hauled up on murder charges.

This is murder. The victims are as dead as if drug company goons had opened fire on them with a Glock. And there are thousands of these victims, far more than died at VTech. So why do the people who do this get away with only a wrist slap?

I'll finish with one last quote from the article linked above:
In the case of Zyprexa, Lilly has so far agreed to pay about $1.2 billion to settle cases out of court with roughly 28,000 victims. But here again, $1.2 billion for claims spanning a 10-year period amounts to petty cash for a drug with sales of $4.36 billion in 2006, and a 10% increase to $1.108 billion reported in the first quarter of 2007, over the first quarter of 2006.
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Anonymous said...

I appreciate you sharing your research and experiences in your writing on your web sites and in this blog, thank you! I have learned a lot and refer people to things you have written.

Scott S said...

You didn't hear it from me, but in the words of The New York Times

"For now, copies of the Lilly documents sit defiantly on servers in Sweden, and under a domain registered at Christmas Island, the Australian dot in the ocean 224 miles off the coast of Java. "Proudly served from outside the United States," the site declares. There are surely others."

at http://zyprexakills.ath.cx/

Linking is not a crime!

Anonymous said...

Chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly, Sidney Taurel was one of George W. Bush's Homeland Security Advisory Council members.