Skip to main content

Leaked documents: AstraZeneca denies drug's diabetes link after warning


NEW YORK A recent leak of internal documents found that an AstraZeneca saleswoman told a doctor that the company’s antipsychotic did not cause diabetes, though the company noted otherwise nearly four years ago.

Nancy White, the saleswoman, said in the 2006 note that she told the physician that “there has been no causative effect” found between Seroquel and diabetes. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca wrote in November 2002 to Japanese doctors that it received a dozen reports of diabetes-related cases tied to Seroquel “where causality with the drug could not be ruled out.” The company also said in the letter that Seroquel should not be prescribed to diabetic patients and that those patients who did use Seroquel should monitor blood-sugar levels.

More than 15,000 patients have sued London-based AstraZeneca, claiming the company withheld information about links between diabetes and Seroquel. Many of the suits also claim AstraZeneca promoted Seroquel, approved by the Food and Drug Administration for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for unapproved uses.

Seroquel, which generated sales of $4.45 billion in 2008, is the company’s second-biggest seller after the ulcer treatment Nexium.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds