November 07, 2006
Lilly, BMS part of California investigation of anti-psychotics
The California attorney general’s office expanded its probe into the marketing of anti-psychotic drugs, serving subpoenas to Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the companies have said. The California AG is seeking information about marketing practices for Lilly’s Zyprexa, a blockbuster approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as information pertaining to how the company achieved positioning for Zyprexa on the state formulary. Lilly, which received the subpoena in September, added in a regulatory filing Friday that the California AG’s marketing probe also concerns “remuneration of health care providers.” This follows an announcement last week by AstraZeneca that it, too, had received a subpoena from the California AG regarding promotion of its anti-psychotic, Seroquel, and information about its formulary status. Alaska sent a separate subpoena to AstraZeneca in September seeking information about Seroquel’s safety, efficacy and marketing practices. BMS, meanwhile, “received a subpoena from the California state Department of Justice seeking documents in connection with Abilify,” a spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday. BMS markets the anti-psychotic Abilify. Lilly added in its regulatory filing that it could not predict the outcome of the investigation but that it could hurt the firm’s financials.