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Judge Dismisses First Seroquel Suits

Two down, almost 10,000 to go. A Florida federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the first in a series of lawsuits against AstraZeneca over allegations its anti-psychotic drug Seroquel causes diabetes.

Former Seroquel users Linda Guinn and David Haller could not prove they developed diabetes because of the drug, U.S. District Judge Anne Conway said at the hearing. The plaintiffs argued AstraZeneca failed to adequately alert doctors and patients about Seroquel's potential to cause diabetes, even though the company knew about a possible correlation as early as 2000.

London-based AstraZeneca faces roughly 9,000 lawsuits from more than 15,000 plaintiffs throughout the U.S. The trial for one of the two dismissed suits was set to begin in Orlando Feb. 2.

"The company intends to litigate these cases on the individual merits and defend them vigorously," said AstraZeneca spokesman Tony Jewell in a statement, adding the company was pleased with Wednesday's decision.

The dismissal comes on the heels of Monday's revelation that the Food and Drug Administration demanded AstraZeneca clarify the risk of weight gain and diabetes on the drug's label. The company denies the allegations about unclear labeling and insists it fully disclosed all known risks associated with Seroquel.

Associate Editor

Lauren Williamson

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