Settlement amount: $520 million
Year of settlement: 2010
Drugs involved: The atypical antipsychotic Seroquel (quetiapine)
Criminal charges filed? No
The charges against AstraZeneca involve illegally marketing Seroquel to the elderly and to children to treat conditions for which it has not been found safe or effective, including insomnia and anxiety. Studies have found that using Seroquel improperly in the elderly, and potentially in children, may raise the risk of death.
AstraZeneca executives also promoted a study linking Seroquel with weight loss, according to emails produced in a civil case against the company, while they buried other data, particularly from one study that showed that taking Seroquel caused significant weight gain — an average 11 lbs. a year. Other studies have repeatedly shown that Seroquel and other drugs in its class cause weight gain and associated diabetes and metabolic problems.
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