Washington state has joined with other states and the federal government in reaching an agreement in principle with Eli Lilly and Company to settle allegations it engaged in an off-label marketing campaign to improperly promote the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.
Attorney General Rob McKenna announced that Washington's cut of the $800 settlement amounts to $14 million.
Eli Lilly will pay the states and the federal government a total of $800 million in damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid and various federal healthcare programs for harm suffered as a result of its conduct.
The state's share of the settlement is tied to how much Zyprexa was used by state Medicaid patients. Just over $7 million of Washington state's settlement amount will be returned to the federal government to offset its share of funds improperly distributed on behalf of state Medicaid recipients.
Zyprexa is one of a newer generation of antipsychotic medications used to treat certain psychological disorders. Between September 1999 and December 31, 2005, Eli Lilly willfully promoted the sale and use of Zyprexa, primarily through a marketing campaign called "Viva Zyprexa," for uses which the Food and Drug Administration had not approved. The promotional activities undertaken by Eli Lilly promoted Zyprexa not only to psychiatrists, but also to primary care physicians, for such unapproved uses as the treatment of depression, anxiety, irritability, disrupted sleep, nausea and gambling addiction. In implementing the campaign, Eli Lilly also provided payments and other things of value to health care professionals.
As a result of these promotional activities, Eli Lilly caused physicians to prescribe Zyprexa for children and adolescents, dementia patients in long-term care facilities, and in unapproved dosage amounts, all of which are uses that were not medically acceptable for reimbursement by state Medicaid programs.
As part of the settlement, Eli Lilly will enter a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General which will closely monitor the company's future marketing and sales practices.
Washington State Shares In Eli Lilly Settlement
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