Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca yesterday agreed to pay $198 million to settle 17,500 lawsuits in the US for its block-buster anti-psychotic drug Seroquel, that is said to have caused diabetes in users.
Users of Seroquel drug in the US have sued AstraZeneca in US courts, claiming that the drug caused weight gain, diabetes and other problems after taking the drug prescribed by physicians.
AstraZeneca had earlier paid about $55 million to settle more than 5,500 cases on Seroquel and the company said that the earlier agreements are part of the 17,500 settlements.
Today's settlement is far below analysts estimates of about half a billion dollars that are normally paid out in similar cases. AstraZeneca paid an average of $11,300 per claim.
The specific terms of the agreements, which are the result of court-ordered mediation, are confidential said the company and added that as of 29 June, approximately 2,900 additional cases have been dismissed by order or agreement and approximately 1,825 of those cases have been dismissed with prejudice.
This settlement comes after the London-based drug company had in April 2010 agreed to pay $520 million plus interest to the US government to resolve allegations that it illegally marketed Seroquel for uses not approved as safe and effective by the US regulator. (See: AstraZeneca settles Seroquel case with US government for $520 million)