The legal battle over Eli Lilly's Zyprexa documents–which were released to The New York Times in December,2006–was argued before Judge Jack Weinstein, in a two-day hearing, in U.S. Federal District Court Eastern District in Brooklyn.
Jim Gottstein of PsychRights Law Project, who provided the documents to the
Times after obtaining them from David Egilman, MD, an expert plaintiffs
witness in the Zyprexa II case, under order of a subpoena. Mr. Gottstein was
deposed at length both days about who did what when.
The second day (Wednesday) was by far the more dramatic–unfortunately the
press was noticeably absent.
When questioned by Alan Milstein, attorney for Vera Sharav, AHRP and Dr.
David Cohen, plaintiffs' attorney from Lanier law firm, confirmed that Lilly
marked "all of the Zyprexa documents" that he saw–numbering in the hundreds
of thousands–as "confidential."
Judge Weinstein directed Eli Lilly to examine all the documents that Jim
Gottstein obtained pursuant to the subpoena, and to explain the
justification under Rule 26 (the standard set forth in the protective order)
for sealing those documents. The documents presumably are among the most
important of the estimated 11 million filed in this case.
After Mr. Gottstein's testimony, the court heard from Dr. Egilman's attorney
who presented a document showing that Dr. Egilman had given Lilly's chief
counsel several days (5) notice about the subpoena after being served by Mr.
Gottstein–but that Lilly's legal team did not prohibit him from providing
the requested documents.
Lilly then called Vera Sharav as a witness–thereby unintentionally
providing an opportunity, at last, to testify about the information
contained in the disputed documents. It also provided the opportunity to
explain just what the vital significance of that information for consumers
and physicians. The court heard how the life safety of millions of people
was put at risk with Lilly's full knowledge about the toxic effects of
Zyprexa. The court heard that the vast majority for whom Zyprexa was being
prescribed–including children, the elderly and persons with
disability–were being exposed to the drug's lethal effects for off-label,
unapproved and medically unsupportable uses.
A transcript of the hearing will be posted as soon as it is released by the
court. (stay tuned)
Lilly entered into evidence, a copy of a document posted on the AHRP blog:
The court gave Lilly until January 31 to submit its brief arguing why the
documents should be sealed.
The parties enjoined from disseminating the documents–including
PsychRights, AHRP, Electronic Frontier Foundation, MindFreedom
International, and the individuals named in the injunction–were given until
February 7 to submit briefs arguing that the documents should be unsealed.
An informative profile of Eli Lilly and its influence–including its
history, products, extensive political influence, undisclosed gift giving to
so-called "advocacy" groups, as well its medical / business ethics. The
documented record shows that the company has been found repeatedly in
violation of civil and criminal conduct: See:
Another website covering the Lilly-Zyprexa documents scandal is New York
University Open Access:
Another site that is updating information about the suppressed documents is:
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav