AstraZeneca Makes Secret Payout


AstraZeneca Will Keep Seroquel Settlement Terms Confidential

AstraZeneca Plc, which tentatively settled almost 4,000 product-liability cases this month involving its antipsychotic drug Seroquel through mediation, said it will keep terms of the agreements confidential.

“AstraZeneca remains committed to a strong defense effort, but will also continue to participate in good faith in the court-ordered mediation process,” Tony Jewell, an AstraZeneca U.S. spokesman in Wilmington, Delaware, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

The London-based company, the U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker, said in a regulatory filing that by the end of March, it was defending more than 10,000 cases involving 22,500 plaintiff groups. Some of the cases were previously dismissed because plaintiffs lacked sufficient evidence to support allegations that Seroquel causes diabetes.

The company, with $32.8 billion in sales last year, said in the July 29 filing that by March, it had spent about $688 million defending Seroquel-related cases.

AstraZeneca agreed earlier to pay $2 million to settle more than 200 Seroquel cases, averaging about $10,000 each, people familiar with the agreements said. Those settlements were part of the same federal-court-ordered mediation.

Some of the cases were filed in state courts, including New Jersey and Delaware. Others have been consolidated on the federal level with U.S. District Judge Anne Conway in Orlando, Florida.

In the first Seroquel case to be tried, AstraZeneca won a jury verdict that the company properly warned doctors of a Vietnam War veteran of the drug’s diabetes risk. A judge in Delaware dismissed three more cases saying there wasn’t enough proof of a diabetes link.

The consolidated Seroquel case is In re Seroquel Products Litigation, 06-MD-01769, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Orlando).

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at; Jef Feeley in Wilmington at

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