Judge: Lilly should settle Zyprexa case

A federal judge is urging Eli Lilly to negotiate a worldwide settlement with Zyprexa plaintiffs, who are asking for some $7.7 billion. As you know, Lilly has already agreed paid $1 billion to settle claims about the antipsychotic drug's side effects. The company is under state and federal investigation for its Zyprexa marketing. Now, the drugmaker faces claims that it marketed Zyprexa improperly and overcharged for it, too. Insurers and labor unions claim that Lilly hid the drug's risks, spread misinformation about its effectiveness, and promoted it off-label, and are suing the company under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act (RICO).

In a draft order issued last week, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein said the case against Lilly is strong enough to justify a trial and noted that the company may have pushed questionable uses for the antipsychotic drug. "There is sufficient evidence of fraud under RICO to go to a jury," the judge concluded. "A global settlement...is desirable."

- read the story in the Indianapolis Star