Eli Lilly & Co. paid doctors in South Carolina for participating in a speakers’ program in exchange for prescribing the antipsychotic Zyprexa, and used golf bets to get more patients on the drug, according to notes by sales representatives.
During a golf game, one doctor agreed to start new patients on Zyprexa for each time a sales representative parred, or put the ball in a hole within a predetermined number of strokes, according to the notes.
“I got four pars out of nine holes,” Lilly salesman Vince Sullivan said in a February 2002 note. “I said I wanted my four new patients.”
The notes were made public for the first time in a court hearing today in South Carolina in the state’s lawsuit against Lilly over Zyprexa marketing practices. State officials contend Indianapolis-based Lilly marketed the drug for unapproved uses. A trial is set to begin Sept. 14.
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Lilly Paid Doctors to Prescribe Zyprexa