Letter to the Editor: Eli Lilly and the Dangers of a Drug

New York Times
Sunday, December 17, 2006

Eli Lilly and the Dangers of a Drug
New York Times
Letter to the Editor
December 17, 2006
To the Editor: ''Eli Lilly Said to Play Down Risk of Top Pill'' (front page, Dec. 17), about the company's decision to cover up health effects of its top-selling schizophrenia medication, Zyprexa, is a good example of the strong link between product safety and product liability. Lawsuits are often the only means for the public to learn about dangerous drugs. This is especially true today, as the Food and Drug Administration has proved unable to keep some unsafe drugs off the market. The article also illustrates the problems caused when companies settle cases and force the injured to sign confidentiality agreements, as was apparently done in this case. In such cases, wrongdoers can prolong misconduct and suppress information for years. If lawsuits had not been brought in this case and a lawyer who was not bound by a confidentiality agreement had not come forward, the dangers of this drug would never be known to the wider public.
Joanne Doroshow
Executive Director
Center for Justice and Democracy
New York , Dec. 17, 2006

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