AstraZeneca to Pay $198 Million for Seroquel Lawsuits

This is all over the news and I’m feeling pretty burnt out on all of this so I’ve not been paying much attention. But it is a big deal so here you have it.

Seroquel, like all the atypicals can cause diabetes and metabolic syndrome. I too gained about 100 lbs with Risperdal (an atypical neuroleptic) being the largest guilty party, though many of the meds helped and the last one was indeed Seroquel. I’m lucky to have not developed diabetes.

This story in large part is being reported as a stock market issue. AstraZeneca is hurting a bit…poor big pharma.

AstraZeneca Plc will pay about $198 million to settle 17,500 lawsuits, or about two-thirds of the total cases alleging its antipsychotic drug Seroquel causes diabetes in some users.

The settlements resulted from court-ordered mediation, the London-based drugmaker said in a statement today. AstraZeneca previously agreed to pay at least $55 million to resolve more than 5,500 cases alleging the company knew Seroquel could cause diabetes and failed to adequately warn patients, people familiar with those settlements said. These earlier agreements are part of the 17,500 settlements, the company said.

AstraZeneca, the U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker, is closer to wiping out the 26,000 total Seroquel cases and at a lower cost than expected, analysts said. Average payments are $10,000 to $11,000 for former Seroquel users, according to previous announcements and people familiar with earlier accords. The settlements are “probably lower than the worse-case estimate,” according to Jeremy Batstone-Carr, an analyst at Charles Stanley & Co Ltd.

“The nagging uncertainty has been hanging over the share price and what’s interesting is the extent to which Astra has been trying to draw a line in the sand to put these legal cases in the past,” Batstone-Carr, who rates the shares “accumulate,” said in an interview. “The market will regard $198 million as being positive even if for no other reason than it removes the uncertainty.” rest of article

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