Friday, October 05, 2007

Lilly Updates Label: A Little Too Late

The good news is that Lilly has updated its warnings for Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine combo). Here's a bit from the PR release:
Specifically, the changes include new warnings for weight gain and hyperlipidemia (elevation of triglycerides and cholesterol) and updated information in the warning for hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar), including additional language on a greater association of increases in glucose levels with olanzapine than with some other atypical antipsychotics.
Here's the tragicomic part:
"Today's communication is part of Lilly's historical and ongoing commitment to inform doctors and patients about updated prescribing information," said Sara Corya, M.D., global medical director, Lilly.


"Lilly continues to recommend that clinicians consult expert guidelines for treating people with antipsychotics, particularly the monitoring of lipids and blood glucose, regardless of the medication prescribed," Dr. Corya said. "Over the last several years, the company has been actively informing healthcare professionals about these recommendations."
Yes, Lilly is all about honestly sharing information. Please read my prior post on the incredible shifting Zyprexa glucose data here. Read a whale of a great post from Furious Seasons on how Lilly tried to play weight gain on Zyprexa off as a benefit of treatment (!) here. Interesting questions about Lilly's handling of the glucose discussion can also be seen here. If you have some time to burn, look through the above posts, then tell me Lilly has a "historical and ongoing commitment" to sharing data openly and honestly.

As for the expert guidelines, yeah -- great idea! Like TMAP -- read
my postabout how the research supporting said guidelines for treating bipolar disorder is flimsy at best, yet these "expert guidelines" are oft-cited as a great example of the good that comes from expert guidelines. Oh, and did I mention that the "expert guidelines" are often authored with the help of industry?

Here's the bad news. Really bad news. Philip Dawdy has posted an interview with the mother of a man who took Zyprexa, apparently piled on the pounds, and then allegedly died of "profound hyperglycemia." It is a sad, sad story and well worth your time to read it.

While you're there, look around the Furious Seasons blog and ask yourself, "Is there anywhere else where I can find this type of mental health coverage?" I bet you'll say no. If you want continuing coverage of these issues, I suggest that you contribute whatever you can to Philip Dawdy, author of Furious Seasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a psychiatric / pharmaceutical plan to "suicide screen" every child in the United States before they graduate from high school. Evidence exists that shows massive pharmaceutical backing that will result in even more overdrugging of kids with psychiatric drugs .

Can you take a moment to view this very short video? Click here:

And then sign and forward this petition to your associates and everyone you know? It already has over 23,000 signatures.

It's simply a race to inform enough parents so something can be done about this.

Federal Bill to ban funding for screening here: