Eli Lilly is in talks with federal prosecutors to possibly settle the investigation into the marketing tactics it used to sell the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. The New York Times reports that the discussions could potentially result in Lilly paying a fine of more than $1 billion to federal and state governments.
The allegations against the company stem from documents showing that Eli Lilly encouraged doctors to prescribe Zyprexa for age-related dementia, even though the drug is approved to treat only schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to the NYT, Zyprexa brought in $4.8 billion in sales in 2007.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia are negotiating the settlement for the government, in consultation with the Justice Department in Washington. Attorneys from Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton and Chicago-based Sidley Austin are representing Lilly.
According to the Times, Nina Gussack is one of the Pepper Hamilton lawyers negotiating for Lilly. Though lawyers at Sidley declined to comment, Washington partner Paul Kalb is the firm's lead attorney representing Lilly.