Attorney General Brown Announces $62 Million Multi-State Settlement with Eli Lilly

Eli_lilly_62_million

Eli Lilly has settled once again for improperly marketing the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.  I blogged on this subject earlier this year.  See Eli Lilly Settles Claims Over Zyprexa.  Then, later in the year, drug giant Merck settled cases over deceptive television advertisements. See $58 Million Merck Settlement To Change Deceptive TV Drug Advertisements.  Are the drug companies an evil empire?  Well, maybe so, but they are not beyond the reach of those that have our best interests in mind — i.e., Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr.  Here’s the latest:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2008
Contact: Christine Gasparac: (916) 324-5500

Attorney General Brown Announces $62 Million Multi-State Settlement with Eli Lilly

SACRAMENTO—California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a record $62 million multi-state settlement with Eli Lilly and Company for improperly marketing the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for use beyond the drug’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved uses.

“Eli Lilly put profits ahead of patients when it marketed Zyprexa for a use that had not been properly tested or approved, in many cases, putting young women at risk for weight gain, hypoglycemia and even diabetes,” Attorney General Brown said.

The settlement is the largest ever multi-state consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement. California will receive $5.6 million, the largest share of the award.

In his original complaint, Attorney General Brown alleged that Eli Lilly engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Zyprexa for off-label uses and failed to adequately disclose the drug’s potential side effects to healthcare providers. As a result of the settlement, Eli Lilly agreed to change its marketing strategies and to cease promotion of its "off-label" uses. Off-label uses are those not approved by the FDA when it approves the sale and use of a particular drug. Physicians are allowed to prescribe drugs for off-label uses, but federal law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing products for off-label uses.

Zyprexa is the brand name for the prescription drug olanzapine. In 1996, Zyprexa was first marketed for use in adults with schizophrenia and belongs to a class of drugs commonly referred to as “atypical antipsychotics,” which are traditionally used to treat schizophrenia. The FDA has approved Zyprexa for the treatment of acute mixed or manic episodes of bipolar I disorder and for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Zyprexa carries serious side-effects, including weight gain, hyperglycemia and diabetes.

Beginning in 2001, Eli Lilly launched an aggressive marketing campaign called “Viva Zyprexa!” As part of the campaign, the company marketed Zyprexa for off-label uses including pediatric care, high-dosage treatment, treatment of symptoms rather than diagnosed conditions and treatment of elderly patients suffering from dementia.

Stipulations in the settlement agreement require Eli Lilly to:
• Refrain from making any false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding Zyprexa.
• Require its medical staff, rather than its marketing staff, to have ultimate responsibility for developing and approving content for all medical letters and references regarding Zyprexa.
• Require its medical staff to be responsible for the identification, selection, approval and dissemination of article reprints containing more than an incidental reference to off-label information regarding Zyprexa.
• Provide specific, accurate, objective and scientifically balanced responses to unsolicited requests for off-label information from a healthcare provider regarding Zyprexa.
• Contractually require continuing medical education providers to disclose Eli Lilly’s financial support of their programs and any financial relationship with faculty and speakers.
• Provide a list of healthcare provider promotional speakers and consultants who were paid more than $100 for promotional speaking and/or consulting by Eli Lilly.
• Only provide product samples of Zyprexa to healthcare providers whose clinical practice is consistent with the product’s current labeling.

Other states included in today’s settlement agreement include: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Read the Final Judgment Here.

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If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Airborne Settles False Advertising Lawsuit – Details and Claims Information

Airborne_cold_remedy Wow, it’s amazing!  Airborne, the "cold remedy" du jour, has settled a false advertising lawsuit for $23.2 Million.  What galls me is that I take Airborne.  Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but I truly believe that it works.  In the last 4 months, I started to come down with a cold twice and the symptoms literally disappeared after taking 2 doses of Airborne.  This is pretty fascinating stuff, though, and I encourage you to click on the links below for some great reading and viewing.

United Press International published the following:

CARMEL, Calif., March 4 (UPI) — A California herbal supplement firm will pay $23.2 million in a class action settlement for false advertising, one of the plaintiff groups said Tuesday.

Airborne, which advertised its supplement helped fight off colds, will refund money to consumers who bought the product, said the non-profit advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"There’s no credible evidence that what’s in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment," CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt told CNN. "Airborne is basically an overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed."

Airborne, based in Carmel, Calif., also will pay for nationwide advertising that outlines how to file for a refund.

Airborne was created by second-grade teacher who "studied the benefits herbal therapies used in Eastern medicine," the company’s Web site said.

A recorded message at the toll-free number of the class-action settlement administrator said Airborne Health Inc. admitted no wrongdoing, CNN reported.

A hearing to consider the settlement’s final approval is scheduled for June 16.

Airborne changed its advertising campaign when a plaintiff filed suit against the company in March 2006. Advertisements ceased mentioning cold-curing claims, promoting claims that Airborne helped boost the body’s immune systems.

Check out the following links, including the ABC News Video Report:

ABC News Video Report: Airborne Settles Lawsuit

On Line Claim Form

New York Times

GoGirlfriend.com

My Fox Kansas City

An Airborne User’s Opinion

Despite my protestations that Airborne actually works, for information on how to get your money from this settlement, write to the Airborne Class Action Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1897, Faribault, MN 55021-7152, call 1-888-952-9080 or visit Airborne’s Site

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If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

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Case of the Exploding Wine Bottle: Personal Injury Settlement

Alsp_bottle_001 A fascinating product liability case involved a wine conossieur who, while attempting to uncork a bottle of wine, was using a cork extractor which operates as follows: A needle is inserted through the cork, the user pumps the spring-loaded handle and air pressure then forces the cork out. The result is shown in the picture to your left. 

Mr. A. had owned the cork extracting unit for several years and, up to the date of his injury, had used it to uncork at least 200 bottles of wine. Although he reports that the cork is usually extracted on the fifth to seventh pump, the bottle exploded on the fourth or fifth pump on this grim occasion.  Alsp_hand_2

He reports that he immediately knew that his hand was dramatically injured because he could not feel anything and, as he held it up, blood started gushing heavily from the wound.  

It was my theory that the bottle itself was defective.  I engaged the services of a phenomenal expert, Fred Johnson, Ph.D., whose credentials as a professor of physics at Cal State Fullerton spoke for themselves.  Alsp_bottle_002 Dr. Johnson examined the bottle with the use of a high magnification microscope and determined that there were two major defects in the subject wine bottle: (1) Very uneven glass thickness and (2) an obvious glass anomaly (bubble), which weakened the bottle’s integrity, such that when the internal gas pressure was applied (in order to remove the cork) it caused a catastrophic failure of the bottle.

Mr. A. sustained serious injuries as a result of this manufacturing defect.  Alsp_hand_002_2 To whit, he suffered a laceration to the flexor tendon in the ring finger of his left hand.  Although doctors attempted to surgically repair the injury, Mr. A permanently lost the use of his finger (see photo to left)

Settlement: We were able to achieve a settlement for Mr. A against the bottle manufacturer and the store who sold it to him of over $100,000.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com