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The FDA Might Pull This Drug From the Market (and Why It Doesn't Matter)

Brian Orelli
June 18, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating two deaths that occurred after patients were injected with Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY) antipsychotic Zyprexa Relprevv.

The drug is the long-acting version of the oral version of Zyprexa, which is taken daily. Zyprexa Relprevv is injected every two to four weeks.

Lilly had trouble getting Zyprexa Relprevv approved, and when it did, the FDA slapped a black box warning recommending that patients be observed by a health care professional for at least three hours after each injection because high levels of the drug can cause sedation and delirium.

The two patients died three to four days after receiving the dose, well after the observation period. Both had high levels of the active ingredient in their blood.

Not the end of the world
We're still in the investigation phase. At this point, there appears to only be a correlation, but causation hasn't been established just yet. Even if Zyprexa Relprevv is pulled from the market because the FDA is worried that the drug is released faster than it's supposed to, it won't be a major issue for Eli Lilly.

The company doesn't even bother breaking out sales of Zyprexa Relprevv i