Astra-Zeneca accused of cherry-picking and burying data related to Seroquel
There are currently more than 9000 cases pending against Astra-Zeneca, alleging that the drug manufacturer failed to disclose to doctors or patients known evidence that its antipsychotic medication Seroquel caused significant weight gain and diabetes in patients. On February 27, litigants unsealed part of the litigation files from the pending cases (Astra-Zeneca objects to further disclosure of additional files) disclosing internal e-mails which suggest that the company "buried" unfavorable research data and "cherry-picked" favorable data from one study that reached a negative conclusion.
According to Bloomberg.com, the drug generated sales of $4.45 billion in 2008, but performed only marginally better than a placebo, and less well than Haloperidol, an existing generic, or Risperdal. The newly-disclosed internal memoranda strongly suggest that Astra-Zeneca was also aware that the drug caused "impaired glucose regulation" in some individuals. but failed to properly disclose this information: Bloomberg suggests that the company's disclosures to European regulators were more complete and accurate than its disclosures to the FDA.
Thus far, Astra-Zeneca has refused to compromise or settle any of the pending claims and won dismissal of two Canadian claims where the judge held that the diabetic consumers could not scientifically establish that Seroquel was the primary legal cause of their illness.