Lilly adding ethics watchdogs to executive ranks

Four new ethics watchdogs will join Eli Lilly as part of a deal to settle two shareholder lawsuits over the mismarketing of Zyprexa and other drugs. The suits arose after Lilly inked a deal last year to end a 5-year-old federal investigation into its marketing practices; that $1.4 billion deal included a $515 million fine.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Lilly will create four new positions: vice president for global compliance strategy, vice president of global ethics, senior director of enterprise risk management and a project manager to implement and monitor new ethics-related policies. A spokesman tells the Star that Lilly is already working to fill the jobs. All four of the new managers will report to Anne Nobles, Lilly's chief ethics and compliance officer.

The deal also includes a small cash settlement of $35,000, plus $8.75 million in attorneys fees. If approved by a federal judge next month, it would dispose of two of the seven outstanding derivative claims cases.

With this settlement, Lilly becomes the second drugmaker this year to agree to hire new managers to appease shareholders. Last month, Merck reached a tentative deal with shareholders--in one of the last remaining lawsuits related to Vioxx--to add a new medical officer to its staff, who would monitor drug safety and report directly to the CEO.

- read the IndyStar piece 

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