Eli Lilly and Company Responds to BMJ Apology and Retraction

01/27/2005

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan 27, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The BMJ has published a formal apology to Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and retracted allegations made about the company's disclosure of important Prozac information from over a decade ago. The allegations were published earlier this month in the BMJ.

The apology and retraction, which is available in this week's online and bound BMJ edition (http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/330/7485/211-a), references the journal's own investigation into these documents after receiving a complaint from Lilly. The BMJ wrote in the January 29 edition: "The BMJ accepts that Eli Lilly acted properly in relation to the disclosure of these documents in these claims."

"We were disturbed by the initial BMJ article that inaccurately reported about Prozac and made negative inferences regarding our company's conduct, stated Sidney Taurel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Eli Lilly and Company. "The apology and retraction is an important step in gaining closure on this unfortunate event. It is Lilly's policy to be honest in our dealings with the public, the media, regulatory bodies and our customers. We accept the apology and retraction with the understanding that both our organizations are committed to providing doctors and patients with accurate information about medications."

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at http://www.lilly.com. C-LLY

Full Text of the BMJ Apology and Retraction Statement

Eli Lilly: Correction and apology -- An article by Jeanne Lenzer in our 1 January issue (BMJ 2005;30:7) reported that the US Food and Drug Administration was to review confidential Eli Lilly documents that had been sent to the BMJ by an anonymous source.

The article stated that these documents had gone "missing" during a 1994 product liability suit filed against Eli Lilly.

That statement has been the subject of a detailed investigation conducted by the BMJ following a complaint by Eli Lilly. That investigation has revealed that all of the documents supplied to the BMJ that were either Eli Lilly documents or were in the hands of Eli Lilly had in fact been disclosed during the suit. At the end of the trial, all the documents were preserved by Court Order or were disclosed by Eli Lilly to the plaintiffs' lawyers in related Prozac claims.

The BMJ did not intend to suggest that Eli Lilly caused these documents to go missing. As a result of the investigation, it is clear that these documents did not go missing. The BMJ accepts that Eli Lilly acted properly in relation to the disclosure of these documents in these claims. The BMJ is happy to set the record straight and to apologize to Eli Lilly for this statement, which we now retract, but which we published in good faith.

The same article described Dr. Peter Breggin as "the medical witness for the Wesbecker case." He was, in fact, the expert witness for the plaintiffs.

SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company

Morry Smulevitz for Eli Lilly and Company, +1-317-651-5567