Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces $5.1 Million Settlement With Eli Lilly
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced a $5.1 million settlement with Eli Lilly and Company over allegations of improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa. The settlement resolves allegations that Eli Lilly engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Zyprexa, used to treat certain psychological disorders, for off-label uses that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The claims alleged that Eli Lilly promoted the off-label sale and use of Zyprexa primarily through an aggressive marketing campaign called “Viva Zyprexa.” The campaign promoted the drug to psychiatrists and primary care physicians for unapproved uses such as treatment for depression, anxiety, irritability, disrupted sleep, nausea and gambling addiction. The company also allegedly persuaded physicians to prescribe Zyprexa for pediatric use as well as for treating dementia patients in long term care facilities, often at the expense of Medicaid.
“This settlement not only allows us to recover funds for a vital state program that benefits the sick and needy, it also sends an important message that Kentucky will not tolerate drug companies that fail to comply with the rules by misleading and deceiving the public,” said General Conway.
The consent judgment resolves both Medicaid fraud and consumer protection claims and contains comprehensive injunctive terms that will prohibit Eli Lilly from any further unfair or deceptive promotion of Zyprexa. The terms, which will remain in effect for six years, require the company to disclose payments of more than $100 to promotional speakers and consultants and register all studies and post the results of those studies. Additionally, Lilly sales representatives may only sample Zyprexa to a health care provider whose clinical practice is consistent with the product’s labeling.
As part of the assurance of voluntary compliance filed today, Eli Lilly does not admit any violation of Kentucky’s Consumer Protection or Medicaid Fraud statutes or any other wrongdoing. Of the amount paid by Eli Lilly, $3.8 million will be paid to Kentucky’s Medicaid Program, with the balance to be deposited in the general fund after the reimbursement of litigation costs.