According to the New York Times, AstraZeneca has agreed to settle two federal investigations and two whistle-blower lawsuits for a total of $ 520 million over the sale and marketing of its psychiatric drug Seroquel. The names of the whistle-blowers and other details regarding the investigations remain under seal in federal court.
Due to aggressive marketing by AstraZeneca, Seroquel had been used for children and the elderly for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Seroquel had been the top selling antipsychotic drug in the United States, with sales exceeding $ 17 billion since 2004.
AstraZeneca has been served with approximately 14,444 product liability lawsuits over Seroquel. Through discovery in some of those cases, Plaintiff’s counsel Ed Blizzard says an internal email message from a company official regarding Study 15 stated "a great ‘smoke and mirrors’ job" had been done on a "buried" study in 1997, the year Seroquel was approved by the FDA.