Bad News for AstraZeneca on Seroquel Resumes After Brief Respite

Last Updated Jul 14, 2009 1:46 PM EDT

AstraZeneca's cycle of good news regarding its antipsychotic Seroquel -- that it was winning early motions in the initial set of cases filed against it and that sales were still rising despite the controversies surrounding the drug -- may be coming to an end.

A new study suggests that patients on older schizophrenia medicines survive longer than those on Seroquel, Reuters reports, and The Boston Globe reports that homeless people have turned Seroquel into a sought-after street drug. Being name-dropped in a gruesome murder-suicide didn't help, either. That news comes after a federal court ruling that allowed a plaintiffs' expert to testify that Seroquel causes weight gain that can lead to diabetes. Previously, a state judge in Maryland had wondered whether it was even possible for plaintiffs to pass the standard allowing an expert to testify to such a link.