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Eli Lilly Pays a Record $1.4 Billion to Settle Federal and State Fraud Investigations into Illegal Zyprexa Off-Label Marketing Practices
Date:1/15/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company announced today it has agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct and to pay more than 1.4 billion in criminal and civil fines, penalties and damages arising from allegations made in multiple whistleblower lawsuits that the pharmaceutical giant defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other government-funded health care programs in connection with its market practices for its blockbuster atypical antipsychotic, Zyprexa. The settlement is the largest qui tam settlement in U.S. history.

Lilly engaged in a nationwide campaign to market Zyprexa off-label for untested and unapproved uses and, as part of that campaign, Lilly minimized and misrepresented the dangers of Zyprexa, placing company profits above the public safety according to two qui tam Complaints filed by whistleblower attorneys Brian Kenney and Tavy Deming of Kenney, Egan, McCafferty & Young ("KEMY").

The qui tam Complaints were filed on behalf of Steven Woodward, a former Lilly Long Term Care ("LTC") Zyprexa sales representatives from Florida and Jaydeen Vicente a former Lilly LTC representative from California. The Complaints were the first qui tam claims to focus on off-label marketing in Lilly's Long Term Care Sales division.

The Complaints allege that Lilly established a LTC sales force created for a singular purpose - to promote Zyprexa exclusively off-label by extolling the drug's efficacy for a litany of non-indicated uses to control through sedation elderly nursing home residents exhibiting symptoms of agitation, anxiety, insomnia. Lilly staffed the LTC sales force with 180 "specialty" sales representatives, chosen for their special skill sets that translated into heightened aptitude for selling. Lilly's aggressive LTC sales approach succeeded. According to the Woodward and Vicente complaints, the off-label Zyprexa revenues generated per LTC sales repre
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SOURCE Kenney, Egan, McCafferty & Young
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