Friday, January 05, 2007

More Big Pharma Fraud?

This just sent to me by email:

"The death of the newborn was probably due to respiratory failure as a
consequence of perinatal brain damage."-- Yale Department of Pathology.
OpEdNews - January 4, 2007 at 04:08:24

Criminal Prosecution of Lilly Sought Over Zyprexa

by Evelyn Pringle

California Attorney, Ted Chabasinski, is calling for the criminal
prosecution of Eli Lilly executives for hiding the adverse effects of
Zyprexa, based in part on articles last month in the New York Times
which quote internal company documents that revealed that Lilly knew
about the adverse effects for a decade but kept the information hidden.

Mr Chabasinski, appeared by teleconference in US District Court for
the Eastern District of New York, on January 3, 2007, before Judge
Jack Weinstein, on behalf of MindFreedom, a non-profit human rights
organization, in response to a motion by Lilly basically filed to
keep the incriminating information hidden, to defend the public's
right to know the contents of the secret Lilly documents concerning

Mr Chabasinski told the judge that the documents are evidence of
Lilly executives' "criminal behavior" and "willingness to kill people
for profit."

The court granted MindFreedom's request for more time to respond to
Lilly's motion, and another hearing is set for January 16, 2007.
Meanwhile Judge Weinstein said that he was taking "no position" about
those people who were not named but who already have copies of the
Lilly files on Zyprexa.

Prior to the hearing, in a letter to the judge, Mr Chabasinski
pointed out that while the underlying case in which the documents
were under seal is civil, the documents reveal criminal behavior on
the part of Lilly's executives. "They have chosen a course of
action," he told the judge, "lying about and hiding the real effects
of Zyprexa, that they knew would lead to the injury and death of
literally thousands of people."

"If this isn't criminal," he stated, "I don't know what is."

The company documents also show that Lilly engaged in a massive
illegal off-label marking campaign to get primary care physicians to
prescribe Zyprexa for uses never approved by the FDA to increase

The whole saga began when Dr David Egilman, MD, MPH, revealed the
documents to Alaskan attorney, Jim Gottstein. Dr Egilman reviewed the
documents and learned of Lilly's illegal conduct a few years ago when
he served as an expert in a lawsuit. However, the case was settled
out of court, and Dr Egilman was effectively muzzled when the judge
granted Lilly's request to keep the documents secret with a court order.

To settle the lawsuit, Lilly agreed to pay close to $700 million to
roughly 8,000 Zyprexa victims or their family members, with the
provision that each person would sign a confidentiality agreement not
to discuss Zyprexa or the terms of the settlement agreement in return
for the money.

Being Lilly obviously planned to keep the information about Zyprexa a
secret, as a physician, Dr Egilman likely found himself between a
rock and a hard place. If he did not find a way to warn the public,
at best he would be guilty of negligence, and at worst considered
complicit in Lilly's elaborate scheme to use the court system to keep
the information hidden so as not to effect the booming sales of its
top selling drug bringing in over $4 billion a year.

Mr Gottstein obtained the documents for use in another lawsuit, and
after seeing that Lilly knew 10 years ago that Zyprexa caused drastic
weight gain and diabetes and realizing the extent of the off-label
marketing of the drug, he turned the documents over to the New York
Times, obviously in hope that the Times would warn the public and
medical professionals who were prescribing Zyprexa for every ailment
known to mankind, without knowledge of the serious health risks
associated with the drug.

Since the New York Times' articles were published, Lilly's legal team
has been working day and night right through the holiday season
trying to use the court system to muzzle the messengers and get the
incriminating information back under seal.

In reviewing all the legal paperwork including letters, injunctions,
and motions flying around on the internet, its worth noting that not
once do Lilly attorneys, or the judges handling the case, refer to
the underlying illegal conduct disclosed in the documents that Lilly
is working so hard to keep hidden.

The drug maker has been able to obtain injunctions ordering Mr
Gottstein to return the documents and requiring him to provide the
names of all persons and organizations that he provided them to or
discussed them with. The injunctions bar further disclosure and
specifically name individuals and organizations who are believed to
have copies of the documents.

Mr Chabasinski is representing author, Judi Chamberlin, and
MindFreedom International, who are both named in a December 29, 2006,
temporary injunction. "As everyone is aware at this point," Mr
Chabasinski says, "there are thousands of copies of the documents in
question circulating on the Internet and in the hands of innumerable

He says Lilly knows full well that any attempt to recover the
documents is a "futile gesture" and there is no way to keep them
secret. "While the injunction purports to be an attempt to recover
the documents," Mr Chabasinski wrote in the letter to the judge, "it
is clear that its real purpose is to intimidate Lilly's critics, and
the court should refuse to cooperate with this."

As for Lilly's payment of $700 million to settle the lawsuit, Mr
Chabasinski told the judge, "when a company is making billions of
dollars from some drug, a few hundred million
dollars is simply a cost of doing business."

"But if drug company executives know they may face long prison terms
for their willingness to kill people for profit," he states, "they
will think more than twice about what they do."

"If executives can go to prison for stealing their companies' money,"
he told the judge, "surely those who steal people's lives deserve at
least the same fate."

Mr Chabaskinski says Lilly's biggest worry is that the documents will
be reviewed by some prosecutor and that the real purpose of the
injunction is to frighten people into giving up their First Amendment
right to petition the government for redress of grievances, "which in
this situation," he says, "means putting these documents into the
hands of as many potential prosecutors as possible."

He points out that Lilly has created a massive public health problem
by convincing doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to many thousands of
people, whose drug-caused disabilities will now drain the public
health system for years to come. "It is not in the public interest,"
he told the court in the letter, "to keep documents secret when it
will have the effect of making it much more difficult to prevent the
disability of thousands of people."

The pursuit of Mr Gottstein by Lilly attorneys could almost be
likened to being chased around the country by a group of terrorists.
Lilly wants the court to charge him with criminal contempt complete
with sanctions.

Their conduct is clearly an abuse of the legal system, funded by the
ill-gotten profits of Zyprexa, to run up costs for Mr Gottstein, by
harassing him and anyone that he may associate with. At the court
hearing on January 3, 2007, Lilly attorneys asked the judge to issue
an order requiring Mr Gottstein to travel to New York City for a
deposition within 5 days, and:

"Requiring Mr Gottstein to immediately produce ... copies of any and
all documents and information including, but not limited to, all
computer(s), hard-drives, other electronic storage media, hardcopy
documents, emails, e-documents, text messaging, instant messaging,
phone records and voice mails, that refer or relate to Zyprexa".

And talk about chilling the freedoms of the First Amendment, Lilly
wants the court to force Mr Gottstein to produce: "Communications he
had with anyone relating to these documents, including but not
limited to, his dissemination of or discussions relating to the

Lilly also asked for the order to include individual reporters and
the top experts on psychiatric drugs in the US, in demanding that Mr
Gottstein's disclose his communications with "any person,
organization or entity who received these documents including, but
not limited to, Terrie Gottstein, Jerry Winchester, Alex Berenson,
Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. Grace Jackson, Dr. David Cohen and Bruce
Whittington, Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, Laura Ziegler, Judy chamberlin,
Vera Sherav, robert Whitaker, Steve Shaw, Will Hall, Singeha Prakash,
or anyone associated with the Alliance for Human Research Protection
or MindFreedom; and his efforts to retrieve these documents from the
individuals to whom they were improperly disseminated."

Lilly is also requesting that if anything responsive to their request
has been deleted or destroyed in computers, that Mr Gottstein be
required to haul "any and all relevant computers" to New York City
for the deposition, and permit "forensic examination and recovery of
such documents."

In addition to the big bucks being made by thinking up ways to harass
Mr Gottstein, Lilly attorneys at the Pepper Hamilton Law Firm are
making money hand over fist by scouring the internet looking for more
people to harass. On December 30, 2006, they were apparently working
overtime on the Saturday of the biggest holiday weekend of the year,
when they began threatening a private citizen, Eric Whalen, in emails
ordering him to remove the Lilly documents from his web site stating:

"You are facilitating the violation of a Federal Court order. Please
immediately remove the link to the file "ZyprexaKills.tar.gz" (or its
mirror), including all cached materials, or we will take further
legal action against your website."

In another email, they told Mr Whalen, "You have been on notice now
for several hours that you are operating in violation of a Federal
Court Order, and you have thus far, refused to assure your compliance."

"You must take the link down immediately," they wrote, "or we will
take further legal action to shut down your website, and seek all
available remedies."

In his own defense, Mr Whalen replied to the emails and stated: "The
documents linked to on my website were downloaded from an anonymous
source. As far as I know I'm not under any court order. Dissemination
of the contents of the documents is clearly in the public interest.
Is there a legal basis for you[r] request?"

To avoid having my name added to the dastardly list above and the
risk of being subjected to the harassment tactics of Lilly attorneys,
I hereby declare for the record, that I did not receive copies of the
Lilly documents from Mr Gottstein.

Evelyn Pringle

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative
journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate

- end of article -


Anonymous Daniel Haszard said...

Many of the longtime zyprexa users like myself who developed diabetes were given it 'off label' because it was being pushed on my doctor by Lilly drug reps.

The now notorious Zyprexa diabetes connection is elaborated at thousands of pages on line.
My own local clinic and clinics everywhere have stopped dispensing Zyprexa except as a PRN for acute cases.

Eli Lilly's zyprexa gravy train will stall soon enough.
I am Daniel Haszard 4 year zyprexa user who got diabetes from it.

Lilly made a mistake motivated by a desire for profits (greed) now it's time to face the music.Lilly occasionally comes out with theses periodic media PR's on compensation ($27,000 per person?) then nothing further happens and you wonder why victims get indignant.
Daniel Haszard

Fri Jan 05, 04:02:00 PM 2007  

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