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Schizophrenia drug under scrutiny

Stephen Beard Jan 23, 2007
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Schizophrenia drug under scrutiny

Stephen Beard Jan 23, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Leaked documents have shed new light on Zyprexa, a drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia. According to the London Times, the documents reveal the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, has been worried for years about side effects from the drug. From London, Stephen Beard has the story.


STEPHEN BEARD: Zyprexa is the fifth best-selling drug in the world. Last year it generated 30 percent of Eli Lilly’s total revenues.

But it’s also costing the company dear. After a series of lawsuits Lilly has agreed to pay out more than $1 billion in compensation.

Litigants claimed they’d developed diabetes and other diseases after taking the drug. Another 1,200 law suits are continuing.

The company has consistently denied that Zyprexa causes diabetes, but the London Times says it has seen internal documents which suggest otherwise — that the company was aware of a link between the drug and diabetes eight years ago.

Eli Lilly says the documents are misleading. The company claims that after 23 years of research, the drug had been given a clean bill of health.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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