In April of 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued an alert to patients and the entire medical community warning of serious side effects associated with the popular schizophrenia edication ZYPREXA. In specific, the agency warned of serious links between the use of Zyprexa and the development of blood sugar disorders such as diabetes and hyperglycemia. Recent studies revealed that Zyprexa and two other related drugs, were found to cause diabetes 50% more often than older drugs used to treat the same conditions. The alert was deemed to be so serious that the manufacturer Eli Lilly, was required to add a new “black box” warning to alert patients of these side effects.

Despite this alert, the FDA and Eli Lilly have come under much criticism from consumer groups and legal advocates for failing to issue adequate warnings earlier. They point to emergency reports and warnings issued as early as 2001 which highlighted the very same side effects addressed by the FDA in April of 2005. An article written in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry during calender year 2001 reported that the FDA had been alerted 19 case reports of diabetes associated with the use of Zyprexa. In April of 2002 the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry reported concerns relating to the side effects of Zyprexa after the deaths of two diabetic users of the drug. They directed that no new diabetes patients should be treated with Zyprexa and ordered Eli Lilly to warn doctors to closely monitor diabetics already on the medication.

A short time after the action taken by the Japanese government, and a confirming report in the British Medical Journal, the British Medicines Control Agency warned that patients taking Zyprexa had developed diabetes-related complications.

Against this background Eli Lilly reported on June 9, 2005 that it had entered into a settlement agreement, in principle, to settle approximately 8,000, or 75%, of the claims against it related to its schizophrenia medication, Zyprexa. The amount of the settlement was a maximum of $690 Million, or an average of approximately $86,000. Excluded from the settlement were those who did not register by June 23, 2005 and those represented by plaintiff’s attorneys who felt the settlement was inadequate.

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If you did not participate in this settlement, or feel like we do, that the amount offered is insufficient to compensate a victim of Zyprexa for a lifetime illness such as diabetes, please call us or complete the accompanying questionairre for a free case evaluation.

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