CITY NEWS SERVICE
Jury selection is under way in trial of a wrongful death lawsuit against drug-maker Eli Lilly and Co., stemming from the death of a 20-year-old man who was prescribed a prescription drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The negligence suit was filed in October 2007 in Los Angeles Superior Court by Randy and Eiko Tadai, the parents of Cody Tadai. They allege that Eli Lilly knew patients taking Zyprexa had an increased risk of developing potentially life-threatening conditions, including weight gain, diabetes and hyperglycemia, but led doctors to believe that the side effects were no worse than any other drug.
Eli Lilly attorneys deny the young man’s death was caused by Zyprexa and maintain that the company did not misrepresent the drug’s potential side-effects to those in the medical community.
The Tadais allege that after their son died, the Food and Drug Administration required Eli Lilly to change the Zyprexa warning label to include language warning physicians that the drug has a greater association with increased blood glucose levels, which causes diabetes.
Cody Tadai was prescribed Zyprexa in October 2003 and took the drug until he died in March 2007 of diabetes-related complications. His parents maintain that their son’s physician, Dr. Koichi Ishikawa, would have not have given Zyprexa to him had current warning information been in place at the time.