AstraZeneca landed a favorable verdict in the first Seroquel Lawsuit to go to the trial. It is the only Seroquel trial till date as AstraZeneca decided to settle other Seroquel litigations out of the court or with court ordered mediation. The New Jersey state court jury concluded in this trial that the AstraZeneca Plc, the manufacturer of Seroquel had sufficiently warned the doctor treating the patient about the risks of severe side effects caused by use of this drug.

Seroquel is an oral drug containing quetiapine as main active ingredient. It is used for treatment of Schizophrenia in adults or children older than 13 years. It is also used for treatment of bipolar disorder or manic depression in children above 10 years and adults. It is also used with other antidepressant drugs. Doctors prescribe it for other purposes as well.  It was introduced for treatment of Schizophrenia in the market in 1997.

The use of Seroquel has been associated with hyperglycemia and diabetes in patients using this drug. Many studies also revealed the same fact. Reports about its association with these side effects started coming in since this drug came into circulation. FDA too issued safety alerts and warnings related to this drug.

AstraZeneca was also blamed of promoting its antipsychotic drug Seroquel for off label uses. FDA warned it for providing misleading and false information about the drug. It was also found guilty of paying kickbacks to doctors for prescribing Seroquel for off label uses. It had to pay $520 million to U.S. Department of Justice to settle the lawsuit alleging it of paying kickbacks and off label promotion filed by U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department blamed AstraZeneca to market this drug for treatment of aggression, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All these are off label uses of the drug.

The first Seroquel lawsuit to go for trial was a product liability case and was one of the cases in the mass tort involving thousands of cases. The case was Baker Vs. AstraZeneca. Most of the cases against AstraZeneca related to Seroquel side effects have been consolidated in an MDL by the Judicial Panel on Multi district Litigation. This MDL or Multi District Litigation was pending in the Middle District of Florida. There were other consolidate groups of cases pending in other areas including Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

The plaintiff in above lawsuit alleged that he developed diabetes as a side effect of using Seroquel. The jury issued a defense verdict, as it was not proved that plaintiff’s condition was a result of Seroquel use. The evidence suggested that the plaintiff had many pre-existing risk factors. He was already at risk of developing diabetes. He also ignored the warning on the drug’s label. Hence his condition could not be attributed to use of Seroquel, the antipsychotic drug manufactured by AstraZeneca. Thus jury issued a verdict in favor of AstraZeneca Plc.

Even though AstraZeneca got a favorable verdict in first Seroquel trial, it went for settlement in other Seroquel lawsuits.