Eli Lilly, manufacturer of the andepressant Cymbalta, has agreed to settle a pharmaceutical lawsuit filed on behalf of a 16-year-old boy who committed suicide while using the drug. The settlement amount is confidential.
Cymbalta was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004. In November of that year, 16-year-old Peter Schlif was given samples by his physician. The physician did not tell the boy or his mother that some Cymbalta users exhibited suicidal tendencies, nor were they told that one participant in the trial of the drug had committed suicide by hanging. Peter Schlif shot himself on Christmas Eve 2004, about a month after beginning use of Cymbalta. In 2005, the FDA issued a black box label warning about suicide.
Lilly’s marketing partner, Quintiles Transnational, is a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
In 2009, Lilly paid $1.4 billion to settle a Justice Department lawsuit for marketing its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa too aggressively and for promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses.
Cymbalta is currently Lilly’s best selling pharmaceutical, bringing in just under $5 billion last year, most of that in the United States. Lilly will lose its patent protection of Cymbalta at the end of 2013, but is expected to earn an additional $1.5 billion in sales before losing the patent.
For more information, contact the Ohio dangerous drugs lawyers at Clark, Perdue & List.
Source: Fierce Pharma, “Lilly settles long-running lawsuit tying Cymbalta to teen’s suicide,” Eric Palmer, April 10, 2013.