FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Postmarket Safety

Jury, Judge Rule for Lilly in Latest Cymbalta Lawsuit

Sept. 9, 2015

Eli Lilly continued to beat back court challenges against Cymbalta, as a Virginia jury last week found the drugmaker not negligent in marketing its blockbuster antidepressant.

The jury returned the verdicts in separate lawsuits brought by two women, Gilda Hagan-Brown and Janine Ali. Both claimed they were prescribed Cymbalta (duloxetine) for treatment of fibromyalgia in 2012 and suffered severe withdrawal symptoms when they tried to stop taking the drug.

Judge Anthony Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a directed verdict last week in favor of Lilly on fraud charges, but allowed the jury to hear the negligence charges.

The victories are the latest in a string of court wins for Lilly in defense of Cymbalta. On Aug. 13, a California federal judge issued a directed verdict for the drugmaker, declaring it not liable for severe withdrawal symptoms associated with its drug.

A week earlier, a California jury returned a positive verdict on Cymbalta, and in November 2014, a federal judge in the southern district of New York tossed a similar case against the drug. — John Bechtel