INdiana Systemic Thinking

February 2, 2008

Lilly to Reach Deal with Feds?

Maybe, but no one is talking, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, citing the New York Times.  Here is the background:

Zyprexa was Lilly’s top selling drug last year. It rang up $4.8 billion and accounted for 25 percent of the company’s total sales, but it also has brought the company many legal headaches.

Beginning in late 2006, a series of articles in the Times said Lilly downplayed the drug’s risks and marketed it for uses unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Attorneys general from 30 states have subpoenaed documents detailing Lilly’s sales, marketing and promotional practices for Zyprexa as part of a civil investigation under state consumer protection laws.

The drug also has faced thousands of product liability claims from patients, many alleging the company did not adequately warn patients taking the medication of a heightened diabetes risk.

And here is what is being said:

Lilly spokeswoman Tarra Ryker declined to elaborate on the possibility of a settlement when reached by phone.

“We are cooperating with the government in these investigations, and the discussions around those are confidential,” she said. “We’ve said pretty much all we’re going to be able to say on this.”

She also declined to comment on the payment amount.

“We don’t know where the information came from,” she said.

The Times reported that federal prosecutors in Philadelphia are leading the settlement talks for the government, in consultation with Justice Department headquarters in Washington.

The amount being bantered around is 1 Billion dollars.

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January 12, 2008

Bloggers: Watch What You Write!

That is, if you live in Saudi Arabia, or plan to travel there soon.  Don’t worry, there is an Indiana connection.  From the Muncie Star Press:

A former Ball State University student is being held and interrogated by his native Saudi Arabian government for comments published on his blog.

Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan [pictured in the middle] has been heralded as a brave blogger who criticized corruption and promoted “freedom, dignity, justice (and) equality.” In news stories since his arrest last month, he’s been labeled the kingdom’s most popular blogger, the dean of blogging and the godfather of blogging in Saudi Arabia.

Now, more than a month later, friends continue to maintain his blog, www.alfarhan.org. A “Free Fouad” blog, www.freefouad.comincludes a petition visitors can sign and send to both U.S. and Saudi officials to demand Farhan’s release.

The pleas to release Farhan, 32, married and a father of two, are expected to get much louder in the coming days as President George Bush visits Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.

Farhan studied graduate-level computer science while enrolled at BSU, from the summer of 1999 through the summer of 2000. Marc Ransford, a spokesman for the university, said records don’t indicate Fouad earned a degree here.

A friend and fellow blogger of Farhan’s told The New York Times that Farhan’s arrest has caused fear among other bloggers that they also be detained for what they write.

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