Saturday, January 20, 2007

Zyprexa Inquiry Expands

Alex Berenson of the New York Times has another in what may be an endless stream of stories regarding olanzapine and its questionable (at best) marketing practices. I’ll start by quoting from his latest piece:

Illinois and Vermont are now part of a coordinated five-state civil investigation into the way Lilly promoted Zyprexa, a treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The states are investigating whether Lilly tried to hide Zyprexa’s risk of causing weight gain and other risks associated with diabetes and whether the company promoted Zyprexa for use in patients who do not have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Federal laws prohibit such so-called “off label” marketing, although doctors may prescribe any drug for any disease that they believe the drug will help.

The orders on Thursday and yesterday are the first formal demands for Lilly documents from state attorneys and they indicate an escalation of the investigation, according to Ms. Hagan and Julie Brill, who is an assistant attorney general in Vermont.

For background on this story, please feel free to see such posts as this, this, this, and this. Make sure to also check out the AHRP site for much information on the Zyprexa case.

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