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Eli Lilly and Co have agreed a $15m settlement with the state of Alaska over the use of the drug Zyprexa in its Medicaid program.
It means that the state will be treated as well as any other that may settle with Lilly over similar claims involving the drug, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
However, the agreement involved no admission of wrongdoing by Lilly.
Alaska sued for hundreds of millions of dollars to cover costs to Medicaid for treating what it says are Zyprexa-related health problems, including weight gain, high blood sugar and diabetes.
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner said on the bench, without jurors present, that without lawsuits like the one the state of Alaska brought, claims that drugs cause health problems “might well go unaddressed.”
His comments came after an assertion by the lawyer for Lilly that drug regulation was up to the federal Food and Drug Administration, not any state. He argued that Alaska’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act should not apply to drugs.
But evidence presented by the state had established that the FDA “isn’t capable of policing this matter,” Rindner said.
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