Lilly's Lament: For a drug death: $6 million

For a drug death: $6 million

For some 31 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, the drug Oraflex promised blessed relief when it was introduced in May 1982. A single dose of the remedy had the painkilling power of a dozen or more aspirin tablets. But Oraflex has turned into a bitter disappointment. More than 135 users in the U.S. and Europe have died. Last week a federal jury in Georgia settled the first of some 100 lawsuits against Oraflex's manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis (1982 sales: $2.9 billion).

The jury declared Lilly responsible for the death of Lola T. Jones,...

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