Kansas will receive more than $1 million in a settlement with Eli Lilly and Co., which was accused of improperly marketing an antipsychotic drug, Kansas Attorney General Steven Six announced Wednesday.
Six accused Eli Lilly of inadequately disclosing the potential side effects of the drug Zyprexa to health care providers and for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed the drug for off-label uses, said Ashley Anstaett, a spokeswoman for the attorney general.
Kansas is among 34 states that reached a combined $62 million settlement with the company in the largest-ever multistate consumer protection-based pharmaceutical settlement, Anstaett said.
"Cases like this show many in the pharmaceutical industry that we will not tolerate abuse of the system or deceptive marketing at the expense of Kansas consumers," Six said in a news release.
Zyprexa is used to treat acute mixed or manic episodes of bipolar disorder and for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder, Anstaett said. It was first marketed to treat adults with schizophrenia.
The drug belongs to a class of drugs commonly referred to as "atypical antipsychotics," which can produce dangerous side effects including weight gain, hyperglycemia, diabetes, cardiovascular complications, and increased death risk in elderly patients with dementia, Anstaett said.
Zyprexa was marketed for off-label uses beginning in 2001, including for pediatric uses, for use at high dosage levels, for the treatment of symptoms rather than diagnosed conditions, and to treat or chemically restrain elderly patients suffering from dementia, she said.
Following a 1 1/2 year investigation, the company agreed to change how it marketed the drug and to quit promoting it for uses that aren't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Anstaett said. While a physician can prescribe drugs for off-label uses, pharmaceutical manufacturers are prohibited from marketing their products for off-label uses, according to law.
The $1.18 million portion of the settlement Kansas receives will be used to increase enforcement of consumer protection laws and to enhance consumer education throughout the state, as required by the settlement, Six said.