GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly pay out in separate lawsuits

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $70 million in a national settlement of civil lawsuits filed on behalf of certain individuals, health plans and insurance companies alleging the drugmaker inflated costs of several medicines, including its blockbuster nausea drug Zofran, as far back as the early 1990s. A Glaxo spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal her company was admitting no wrongdoing but settled the cases to put the matter behind it. “Similar claims have also been made against many other pharmaceutical companies,” that haven’t yet reached settlements, the spokeswoman said. The deal follows a separate $150 million settlement reached last September resolving federal charges that Glaxo inflated the price of drugs purchased by federal health care programs. Meanwhile, in separate legal news, notices of injury payouts will be mailed as early as this week to users of Lilly’s Zyprexa who suffered diabetic side effects from the depression and schizophrenia treatment. The award notices will be followed by checks from a $700 million fund Lilly has set up to settle claims from 8,362 people. The settlement in the lawsuit was part of an effort from Lilly to stave off a mass class-action lawsuit against it by trial lawyers around the country who signed on thousands of clients claiming to have suffered from blood sugar problems from taking Zyprexa.