Lilly, Alaska settle Zyprexa suit for $15M

One down, more than a dozen to go. Eli Lilly agreed to settle with the State of Alaska, promising to pay $15 million and to treat Alaska "as favorably as any other state that may settle with Lilly in the future," the company said in a statement. "While we had a strong defense, we agreed...that the best result for everyone is an amicable resolution."

Lilly admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which resulted from mediation ordered by the judge before the trial started. It comes just as Lilly was mounting its defense of Zyprexa and its marketing. The state alleged that Lilly knowingly withheld damaging data about the drug's side effects, including weight gain and diabetes; Lilly denied those charges.

As the first case pitting a state against Lilly over Zyprexa, this trial had been closely watched, not only by other states suing the company, but by state and federal prosecutors investigating. Evidence presented was expected to influence settlement talks reportedly underway with the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia and some state attorneys general.

- read the joint statement from Lilly and the state
- see the Pharmalot item

ALSO: The New York Times showed another face of Zyprexa and its antipsychotic brethren, covering another proceeding in the same Alaskan courthouse. A schizophrenia patient argued that the drugs were "poison" and that he didn't need them. But he also claimed to know President Bush, own a private jet, and see flying saucers. The hearing "offered a textbook illustration of the agonizing choices faced by mentally ill patients," the NYT reporter wrote. Report