June 28, 2006

Antispychotics and Lawyers

You may have seen the advertisements on TV:  "if you've taken Zyprexa and have diabetes, call us, the legal team at..."


Before you take your patients off of Zyprexa in a misguided attempt at warding off litigation, consider the following:

1.  You can't be sued if there's no damage. In other words, you can't be sued because of the risk of diabetes, you can only be sued for diabetes.  No damage, no lawsuit.  If a patient gets diabetes, you catch it and act appropriately, you can't be sued.  If you take reasonable care (note the weight every, say, 6 months; follow blood sugars every, say, year-- more frequently if there is weight gain), not only have you shown above standard-of-care practice, but you're going to catch the problem and fix it-- so no lawsuit.

2.  The lawyers in these ads are trying for a class action-- against the company.  Class actions are not about the severity of drug side effects.  The class action requires  that the company (Lilly) knew about the risks, but purposefully hid these risks from doctors and the public.  (This is why there are no class actions against chemotherapy makers.)   But if the company hid the info, then the doctor couldn't be responsible for the diabetes, because the risk was hidden.  So the class action actually protects the doctor, in a sense.


3.  Here's a puzzler: consider the following by-product of these advertisements.  By soliciting patients who have taken Zyprexa and gotten diabetes, they are, essentially, telling people about the risk.  So a patient who develops diabetes sometime in the future may not be able to claim he didn't know about the risk, as the risks have now entered the public discourse.


Stop worrying about lawyers.  Worry about loose practice.


I took zyprexa whic... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2006 12:45 PM | Posted by Daniel Haszard: | Reply

I took zyprexa which was ineffective for my condition and gave me diabetes.

Zyprexa, which is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, accounted for 32% of Eli Lilly's $14.6 billion revenue last year.

Zyprexa is the product name for Olanzapine,it is Lilly's top selling drug.It was approved by the FDA in 1996 ,an 'atypical' antipsychotic a newer class of drugs without the motor side effects of the older Thorazine.Zyprexa has been linked to causing diabetes and pancreatitis.

Did you know that Lilly made nearly $3 billion last year on diabetic meds, Actos,Humulin and Byetta?

Yes! They sell a drug that can cause diabetes and then turn a profit on the drugs that treat the condition that they may have caused in the first place!

I was prescribed Zyprexa from 1996 until 2000.
In early 2000 i was shocked to have an A1C test result of 13.9 (normal is 4-6) I have no history of diabetes in my family.
Daniel Haszard http://www.zyprexa-victims.com

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