Brown & Crouppen firm takes up Zyprexa case in St. Clair County

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 6, 2006, 6:52am

Denise Porter filed suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court Feb. 28, alleging that the prescription drug Zyprexa caused the onset of her diabetes.

The drug, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company and the third best selling pharmaceutical on the market, is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In 2001, Zyprexa was approved for the short-term treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Porter claims that immediately after Zyprexa's release, Lilly became aware of large numbers of adverse event reports on file with the Food and Drug Administration's medwatch database involving diabetes-related illnesses associated with the use of Zyprexa.

She claims Lilly knew of Zyprexa's propensity to cause diabetes, but failed to adequately warn doctors and patients.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 11, 2003, the FDA informed all manufactures of atypical antipsychotic drugs, including Lilly, that due to an increasing prevalence of diabetes-related illnesses associated with this class of drugs, that all labeling must bear a warning.

Porter also claims that despite the FDA's mandate, Lilly waited until March 1, 2004, to send physicians a "Dear Doctor Letter" advising of the new warnings and claims the warning did not appear in the Physicians' Desk Reference until the 2005 edition.

Porter contends had she been adequately warned of the potential life-threatening side effects, she could have chosen other prescription medications and avoided Zyprexa.

"Lilly negligently, recklessly and wantonly failed to warn Porter, and the general public, of the risks associated with taking Zyprexa. Lilly failed to do so even after various studies, including their own, showed that there were problems concerning the risks of diabetes and diabetes-related injuries associated with Zyprexa," the complaint states.

Porter claims Lilly endeavored to deceive her and the public by not disclosing the findings of various studies, including its own that revealed problems concerning the dangers of Zyprexa.

Porter also claims Lilly violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and those alleged deceptions caused her to suffer personal physical injury and actual damages from expending consideration and value for the purchase of an ineffective, unsafe, and unreasonably dangerous drug.

"Porter purchased Zyprexa, manufactured, marketed, promoted, and sold by Lilly, and suffered personal physical injury and an ascertainable loss of money as a result of Lilly's use or employment methods, acts or practices declared unlawful by the ICFA, and brings this action to recover money damages in an amount necessary to make her whole," the complaint states.

Represented by John Driscoll and Seth Sharrock Webb of Brown & Crouppen in St. Louis, Porter is seeking damages in excess of $250,000 plus costs of the suit.

06 LM 251 (20th Circuit)

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