Quoted from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aplfa8pUrUsM
AstraZeneca Promoted Seroquel as ‘Weight Neutral’
By Cary O’Reilly, Margaret Cronin Fisk and Jef Feeley
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc advised its sales force to promote the antipsychotic drug Seroquel as “weight neutral” four years after company research found “clinically significant” weight gains in users, internal documents show.
AstraZeneca’s “global strategy is to demonstrate to consumers that Seroquel has a weight-neutral profile,” Debbie Holdsworth, a marketing official, wrote in a “dear colleague” letter dated May 14, 2001. The document was produced during a pretrial examination of former executive John Patterson.
“If 45 percent of patients gained significant weight in a year, how could that be weight-neutral?” patient attorney Ed Blizzard asked Patterson, citing a internal 1997 e-mail written by an AstraZeneca doctor, at a hearing in Orlando Oct. 5.
“If you look at the population as a whole, some are below weight, some are average weight and some are above weight, so that taken together, the effect of Seroquel is weight neutral,” Patterson said. Some underweight patients may even be helped in gaining weight by using the drug, he said.