Eli Lilly Could Pay $1B Settlement

Fine for illegally promoting antipsychotic drug Zyprexa would be biggest ever
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 5:40 PM CST
John Lechleiter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Eli Lilly Co., responds to a questions during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis in this Dec. 18, 2007 file photo....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Drug-maker Eli Lilly could pay more than $1 billion to state and federal authorities to settle an investigation into how the company marketed an antipsychotic drug, the New York Times reports. In 2000-03, Lilly pushed doctors to prescribe Zyprexa as a treatment for age-related dementia—though the drug is approved to treat only schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The settlement would be the largest ever for a breach of the laws governing the promotion of drugs, the Times reports. Lilly refuses to confirm that the company is considering the payout. "We have no intention of sharing those discussions with the news media and it would be speculative and irresponsible for anyone to do so," a statement reads.