Archive for the ‘Eli Lilly’ Category

Taking Dangerous Drugs in Ways Never Proven Safe, Effective

January 16, 2009

Americans (and many others) are so ready to find “medical solutions” to their troubles that they’ll try just about anything. 

And American drug makers know this and want your money.

Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger remind me of the ravages of drug use and abuse.  But there are daily reminders in our pop culture and many of us see daily reminders among our families and friends.

In this Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008, file photo, British singer, Amy ... 
Amy
Heath Ledger’s legacy is not “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Patriot” or family and children and happy memories.

Sadly, Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of six drugs — painkillers and sedatives.  “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylaminediazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” said the medical examiner’s spokeswoman.
.

Heath Ledger

Thursday, drug maker Eli Lilly, which makes Zyprexa, plead guilty to charges so egregious they’re criminal: marketing the sometimes dangerous drug in ways never proven safe or effective.

This is called “off label” use of druge: using drugs for purposes not intended and beyond the scope of safety testing.

America has a growing crisis of drug use, addiction, and mis-use of doctor proscribed medications….

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By Sharyl Attkisson
CBS News

Alicia Adams started taking Zyprexa for bipolar disorder when she was just 18 years old. In a matter of months, she ballooned from 93 pounds to 170 and developed severe diabetes.

“The depression got worse,” she said. “I closed myself off from everyone – stayed in my bedroom. I didn’t do much of anything.”

Thursday, Eli Lilly, which makes Zyprexa, plead guilty to charges so egregious they’re criminal: marketing the sometimes dangerous drug in ways never proven safe or effective, CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports.

Zyprexa is only FDA-approved to treat a specific bipolar disorder and severe schizophrenia. But millions have taken it for unapproved or so-called “off label” use, including:

  • children in foster care
  • people who have trouble sleeping
  • elderly in nursing homes.Prosecutors say Eli Lilly engaged an army of thousands of sales representatives in widespread illegal marketing.They were “trained to use the slogan ‘five at five,’ meaning five milligrams at 5 o’clock at night will keep these elderly patients quiet,” said Laurie Magid, acting U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.Problem is: Zyprexa has serious side effects including weight gain, diabetes, even heart failure.

    Shahram Ahari is a former Eli Lilly sales rep and told his story for an education project for doctors.

    “Seizures, things like that have happened as well. And those are, you know, pretty catastrophic side effects to have in your patient,” Ahari said.

    Read the rest:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/15/cb
    snews_investigates/main4725873.shtml?source
    =search_story

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