Saturday, March 15, 2008

Email Not Allowed as Evidence in Alaska Case Against Eli LIlly

An email by an Eli Lilly official discussing off-label use of the drug Zyprexa will not be allowed as evidence in Alaska's suit against the pharmaceutical company, the judge in the case has ruled.

From The New York Times:

Judge Mark Rindner, said it could not be admitted into evidence in the trial because off-label use was not at issue in the case.
However, the email may be useful to federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania:

Its disclosure nonetheless comes at a sensitive moment for Lilly, which is also under federal criminal investigation for the way it promoted Zyprexa and played down the drug’s risks to doctors. Between 2000 and 2002, internal Lilly documents show that the company aggressively tried to expand Zyprexa’s sales into markets for which the drug was never approved, including elderly patients with dementia.

To settle that investigation, and related investigations by several states, Lilly is negotiating with federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania on a deal that could result in the company’s paying $1 billion to $2 billion in fines and restitution, according to people involved in the investigation. The prosecutors declined to comment on Friday.