After making deals and settling 200 lawsuits concerning the antipsychotic drug Seroquel a few weeks ago, AstraZeneca has now disclosed that agreements are in place to settle nearly 4,000 more cases. The original 200 suits settled for around $2million, and AZ says that the details of this settlement agreement deal are confidential.
More than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against AstraZeneca by Seroquel patients who claim the drug caused them to develop diabetes. AZ has also said that it is aware of another nearly 200 cases that have been filed but not yet served which represent 3,661 plaintiffs. Based on three dismissed suits because the plaintiffs didn’t have sufficient evidence, and one that AstraZeneca was awarded, it is easy to see why the lawyers agreed to settlements of about $10,000 per plaintiff in the case of the 200 cases settled in late July. These cases aren’t doing well for the plaintiffs in court.
If this new settlement offers plaintiffs the same monetary deal then AZ will be paying out around $40 million. As of March of this year AZ has spent nearly $688 million in defense of Seroquel cases, a mere $40 million to make 4,000 cases disappear can be seen as a bargain for the pharmaceutical company.
The company representative Tony Jewell told Bloomberg that “AstraZeneca remains committed to a strong defense effort, but will also continue to participate in good faith in the court-ordered mediation process.” The mediation process mentioned is a plan ordered by Judge Anne C. Conway in the multidistrict Seroquel litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and “has resulted in agreements in principle, on monetary terms, subject to various subsequential conditions, approvals and agreement on non-monetary terms, with the attorneys’ representing nearly 4,000 claimants.”
AstraZeneca is the U.K.s second largest drug maker is based in London and had $32.8 billion in sales last year.