Hissey Kientz, LLP Files Lawsuit Against Zyprexa Maker

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Hissey Kientz, LLP (http://www.hkllp.com) filed a lawsuit this week on behalf of an Arizona woman who suffered and died from severe pancreatitis which may have been caused by Zyprexa.

The law office of Hissey Kientz announced this week that it filed suit against Eli Lilly and Company on behalf of a 39-year-old woman who died from cardiac arrest due to pancreatitis. The lawsuit alleges that the victim's use of Zyprexa to treat bipolar disorder caused her to suffer two distinct cases of pancreatitis. The second instance was fatal (Case #0:07-cv-00168).

According to the lawsuit, doctors prescribed Zyprexa to the victim in 1996. She suffered her first case of pancreatitis in November 1999, and doctors admitted her to the emergency room where she stayed in the hospital for approximately 10 days. In January 2005, she was again admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with pancreatitis and died four days later.

The Food and Drug Administration first approved Zyprexa in 1996 to treat mental illness and approved the drug for the specific treatment of bipolar disorder in 2000. Since its debut, Zyprexa has been prescribed to more than 17 million people, making it Eli Lilly's top-selling antipsychotic drug.

Soon after its introduction to the marketplace, reports came out that demonstrated the harmful Zyprexa side effects. Between April 1996 and May 2001, the FDA received several reports of hyperglycemia, worsening of existing diabetes, pancreatitis and other severe injuries among children who were taking Zyprexa. In 2001, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked Zyprexa and the development of hyperglycemia.

Despite evidence of harmful Zyprexa side effects, the lawsuit alleges that doctors continued to prescribe the drug even though equally effective alternatives were available. In December 2000, the British Medical Journal found no clear evidence that Zyprexa was more effective or better tolerated than conventional antipsychotic drugs. A 2003 report by JAMA came to the same conclusion.

In 2005, Eli Lilly agreed to pay $750 million to settle roughly 8,000 lawsuits that claimed the drug's label failed to warn of the Zyprexa side effects. In December 2006, The New York Times discovered internal Eli Lilly documents proving that the company worked for a decade to play down the side effects of Zyprexa. According to the report, Eli Lilly became aware of the Zyprexa side effects as early as 1999, but executives at the company withheld information to doctors and urged its sales representatives to play down the issue. In January 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Eli Lilly moved to settle an additional 18,000 Zyprexa lawsuits.

Hissey Kientz, LLP filed a class action lawsuit earlier this month on behalf of more than a dozen clients who suffered Zyprexa side effects (Case No. 0:2006 CV 04745). The law firm plans to file more Zyprexa lawsuits in the upcoming months.

About Hissey Kientz, LLP

Hissey Kientz, LLP is currently handling cases involving people affected by mesothelioma, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Fosamax, Tequin, Ketek, Vioxx, heart devices, hormone replacement therapy, the Ortho Evra birth control patch and other defective drugs. To learn more about the firm and other drug cases, visit Hissey Kientz, LLP (http://www.hkllp.com) or call (866) 275-4454.

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Todd Greenbaum
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