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Eli Lilly Survey Says Drug Product Litigation Is Bad For Patients

June 14, 2007

By Greedy Trial Lawyer

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Category: Gaming The System

Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly has funded a survey of psychiatrists. Surprise! The survey shows that personal injury lawyers, via their advertisements and drug product litigation, may be putting patients at risk for relapse.

New Survey Shows Product Liability Litigation May Jeopardize Treatment Outcomes For People With Severe Mental Illnesses

Survey results released today shed light on a new barrier to treatment affecting people with severe mental illness. The findings show fears raised by product liability litigation involving antipsychotic drugs may be putting patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder at risk for relapse.

The survey, which was conducted among 402 psychiatrists who treat patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, showed that, even when patients were responding well to their prescribed antipsychotic treatment, many requested a medication change because these drugs are featured in law firm advertisements. Other patients stopped taking their medication, often without telling their psychiatrist, for the same reason.

Dr. Ralph Aquila, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; director, residential community services, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY: "This irresponsible advertising is hindering the progress of therapy for many of these patients and disrupting the important relationship between them and their healthcare providers. Plaintiffs attorneys need to consider the consequences that these advertisements may have on patients."

The findings from this survey, which was commissioned by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and Eli Lilly and Company, are consistent with a Harris Interactive(R) poll of 250 physicians commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2003(i) that examined how pharmaceutical litigation impacts prescribing decisions across disease states.

More than half (55%) of surveyed psychiatrists indicated that they had changed their prescribing practices over the last five years due to product liability cases involving antipsychotic medications [have the remaining 45% of psychiatrists decided ignorance is bliss?]- and reported frustration and concern that this type of litigation sometimes interferes with patient treatment. Furthermore, many psychiatrists (62%) reported that they know of colleagues who have made similar changes in their prescribing practices.

This survey was conducted by independent market research company Ipsos- Insight and commissioned by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and Lilly. The survey was funded by Lilly.

My self-funded survey of victims of defective drugs finds they believe the drugs hindered the progress of therapy (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Ralph Aquila above). Of course, my researchers were unable to speak with those who died as a result of taking defective drugs.

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