AstraZeneca Plc agreed has agreed to pay $150 million to settle more Seroquel lawsuits. Earlier it had settled numerous lawsuits by paying hefty amount of money, but it did not prove fatal blow for AstraZeneca as it settled a large amount of lawsuit against it related to Seroquel lawsuits. These lawsuits blamed that its antipsychotic drug Seroquel could lead diabetes as a side effect of this drug. It had paid around $350 million to resolve Seroquel lawsuits.

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 linked to controversy about paying kickbacks to doctors for off label promotion of Seroquel.

AstraZeneca would be paying $150 million to resolve around 6,000 cases alleging Seroquel for on set of diabetes in patients using it. The AstraZeneca Plc. Is second largest drug making company in U.K. this settlement would pay an average amount of about $25,000 each case involved in the settlement.

After getting a favorable verdict in first Seroquel lawsuit to go to trial in March 2010, the company decided to settle other Seroquel lawsuits out of court to get rid of litigation hassles and bad name. This settlement involved court-ordered mediation. There were around about 4,000 Seroquel claims left after this settlement.

It also paid $198 million to settle 17,500 suits, two-thirds of the 26,000 suits related to side effects of Seroquel filed in courts around the U.S. the settlement involved average pay out of about $11,000. The company won the first jury trial over Seroquel in March 2010.

Seroquel earned $4.9 billion in 2009 and $5.3 billion in 2010 for AstraZeneca. These settlement payouts had not affected the company much. It enjoyed a good sale and good share price in the market.

It also paid $520 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Department of justice. The lawsuit blamed AstraZeneca of improperly promoting its anti psychotic medication Seroquel for off label uses. 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 company has paid around $738 million to get rid of Seroquel lawsuits as of December 2010. The pay out of $520 million to Department of Justice, U.S. to resolve U.S. allegations of illegal marketing of Seroquel for unapproved uses were in addition to above said amount.