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AstraZeneca Pays $520 Million to Settle Seroquel Whistleblower Claims
Date:4/28/2010

type II diabetes, hyperglycemia, cardiovascular complications, heart attacks, stroke, and, in some cases, an increase in the risk of mortality.

“The manipulation and misuse of Seroquel scientific data to support AstraZeneca’s off-label marketing campaign was the most disturbing aspect of the case to me,” Dr. Kruszewski said. “There were strong indications from AstraZeneca’s earliest clinical trials that Seroquel increased the risk of diabetes and induced profound sedation out of proportion to its weak antipsychotic effects.”

Kruszewski added that “rather than properly warning doctors and the public, AstraZeneca intentionally covered up the evidence on diabetes and other serious side effects and used the sedative property of Seroquel as a selling point.” “In the elderly population, they basically marketed Seroquel as an expensive sleeping pill and put hundreds of thousands of patients at risk for serious medical complications, premature cardiovascular disease, pneumonias, and premature death.”

“This was a well thought out marketing campaign that operated on many levels,” stated Brian Kenney. “AstraZeneca orchestrated scientific studies, ghost written articles, and the payment of large fees to academic psychiatrists to act as ‘thought leaders’ to promote the drug off label. The success can be seen in the huge numbers the campaign generated with 4.9 billion in sales in 2009.” “It’s particularly disconcerting that AstraZeneca successfully co-opted large portions of psychiatric academic community,” added Mr. Kenney.

“From the outset of this case, Dr. Kruszewski was passionate about bringing to light AstraZeneca’s concealment of unfavorable Seroquel studies as well as the company’s’ improper use of what he deemed to be flawed scientific studies to promote the drug off label,” said Ta
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