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Lilly faces £830m charge over drug


US drug maker Eli Lilly and Co is to pay a $1.4 billion (£830 million) charge over an investigation into marketing practices for its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa.

The company said it was in advanced discussions to settle the investigation. It will take the charge in the third quarter, it added.

The US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania led the investigation, which was launched in 2004.

Zyprexa has been Lilly’s top-selling drug for a number of years, over which time it has also been subject to several accusations. The company has been accused of improperly marketing the drug to patients who were not approved users, and playing down side-effects such as weight gain.

Earlier this month, Lilly announced a separate $62 million (£36 million) settlement with 32 states over past sales and marketing practices relating to Zyprexa.

Robert Armitage, Lilly’s general counsel, said: “The government’s investigation of Zyprexa has been ongoing for five years, and we now have a heightened sense of responsibility to all our stakeholders to intensify efforts to resolve these issues.”

Copyright PA Business 2008


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