By Jef Feeley and Phil Milford
August 4, 2010
AstraZeneca Plc, the U.K.’s second- biggest drugmaker, agreed to pay about $55 million to settle around 5,500 lawsuits related to side effects of the antipsychotic Seroquel, people familiar with the accords said.
The settlements, with an average payout of about $10,000 per case, resulted from mediation involving 26,000 suits filed over Seroquel, the people said. The London-based company previously agreed to pay $2 million to resolve more than 200 allegations that Seroquel causes diabetes in some users, people familiar with those accords said last month.
“It implies that the overall exposure is very low” for AstraZeneca, Navid Malik, an analyst at Matrix Corporate Capital in London, said today in an interview. “$10,000 per patient doesn’t seem high” to settle drug-safety suits.
AstraZeneca is moving to resolve Seroquel claims as it faces expiring patents on the drug and the ulcer treatment Nexium in the next four years. Seroquel, the company’s second- biggest seller after Nexium, generated sales of $4.87 billion last year, or 15 percent of AstraZeneca’s total revenue.
The 5,500 settlements include 4,000 that AstraZeneca acknowledged in a July 29 regulatory filing, the people said. The company hasn’t disclosed terms of the accords and wouldn’t comment on them yesterday. The settlements stemmed from mediation ordered by the judge in Orlando, Florida, who was overseeing all federal-court litigation over the drug.
Read entire article here: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-04/astrazeneca-said-to-pay-55-million-over-seroquel.html
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