Yes, you read that right. Eli Lilly has reached a settlement for $1.42 billion with the U.S. government over the illegal off-label marketing of Zyprexa. The company also pleaded guilty to criminal misdemeanor charges. Basically this is how I see it:
U.S. Gov’t: Eli Lilly, you did a bad, bad thing by doing illegal things. Pay a fine, please, and then you can go.
Eli Lilly: Okayyyy. [reluctantly hands over $1.42 billion to the government]
U.S. Gov’t: [slaps Eli Lilly on the hand] Now, don’t you ever, ever do this again!
It’s a record settlement for a whistleblowing case. According to Philip Dawdy at Furious Seasons, Eli Lilly has paid over $2.7 billion in settlement payouts so far. (With certainly more to come.)