Which does Eli Lilly care more about: Sales, or customers?
I’m leaning towards sales.
Documents from the lawsuit in Alaska, where Lilly agreed to pay $15 million to settle, contain some interesting remarks and disclosure. For instance, Lilly’s research showed some patients on Zyprexa gained as much as 80 pounds and that the incidence of high blood sugar at diabetes levels was 3.5 times higher than for placebos, Bloomberg News writes. (Emphasis added.)
Before those findings were known, docs already saw a “logical link between weight gain and diabetes,” an instruction sheet advised the sales force in 2002. “We believe it is essential to weaken this link to neutralize the diabetes/hyperglycemia issue,” Lilly wrote in the sales document. “Neutralizing any concern from our customers will be essential to the future growth of Zyprexa in the marketplace.” [Looks like Lilly neutralized any concern for their customers long ago. – JCL]
Then, there’s this: Before the October 2007 label change, Lilly didn’t instruct its sales force to say Zyprexa’s diabetes rates were higher, former marketing director David Noesges said in a January deposition. “We will NOT proactively address the diabetes concern,” the Zyprexa sales force was advised in 2002. “The competition wins if we are distracted into talking about diabetes.” [And the customers who took Zyprexa and got diabetes are the losers. – JCL]