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New Zealand patients who took the drug Zyprexa and were injured may be eligible to join a class action suit in the U.S. against the manufacturer Eli Lilly. A lawyer named Simon Harrison is acting for the victims who have had life-threatening side-effects from the drug.

Zyprexa is one of the four main drugs that is used for the treatment of mental illness in New Zealand. Some of the dangerous side-effects include diabetes, hyperglycemia, pancreatitis, and ketoacidosis. Since the release of Zyprexa, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has had reports of 40 deaths and 1231 problematic reactions from people taking the drug.

Director, Mira Harrison-Woolrych, said the drug had generated hundreds of reports of adverse reactions, but this was not surprising because the agency had taken “a proactive approach. The fact olanzapine is still licensed in New Zealand shows clinicians believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

Harrison states that Eli Lilly knew about the adverse side-effects as early as 1997 and has been downplaying them ever since. New Zealand has a no-blame system, which means the victims of the drug would receive no compensation for their injuries unless they could participate in the U.S. class action.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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