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Antipsychotics

MagazineApril 2009 (Vol. 20 Issue 1)Antipsychotics

Sensitive documents that suggest that drug-maker Eli Lilly has been suppress-ing vital safety information about its best-selling antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) have been leaked to US

Sensitive documents that suggest that drug-maker Eli Lilly has been suppress-ing vital safety information about its best-selling antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) have been leaked to US media sources.

The documents claim that Eli Lilly "engaged in a decade-long effort to play down the health risks of Zyprexa", wrote the New York Times, one of the sources that was given the documents. The chief scientist in charge of the drug's development told employees, in 1999, that "weight gain and possible hyperglycaemia is a major threat to the long-term success of this critically important molecule".

Despite denying a link between Zyprexa and diabetes, Eli Lilly has nevertheless paid out $1.2bn to settle 26,000 claims brought against it

(BMJ, 2007; 334: 59).


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