Thursday, October 8, 2009

Settlement in Pharmaceutical Case

The action brought by Attorney General Henry McMaster against drug manufacturer Eli Lilly has reportedly settled. The below appeared in today's issue of The State newspaper. This lawsuit related to alleged off-label promotion of the drug Zyprexa.

Settlement reportedly reached in Lilly case

Drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by state Attorney General Henry McMaster on behalf of South Carolina.

Sources close to the case say a settlement has been reached but the details, including how much money South Carolina will receive, are not yet available.

South Carolina sued Eli Lilly in 2007, alleging the company marketed its anti-psychotic medication, Zyprexa, for off-label purposes and failed to disclose side effects including weight gain.

The drug is only approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

South Carolina had hoped to recoup $200 million in its lawsuit that it said was wrongfully spent on Zyprexa prescriptions and millions of dollars more in fines.

The company has already agreed to pay more than $360 million to more than 30 states following a U.S. Justice Department investigation into its marketing practices.

The lawsuit has also brought some controversy to S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster who is also seeking the Republican nomination in next year's gubernatorial race. McMaster accepted campaign donations from the two private attorneys he hired to represent South Carolina in the Lilly case.

McMaster has since returned nearly $33,000 in donations he has received during his time in office from attorneys he has hired to work on cases for the state.

- Gina Smith

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