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Will Prozac Murder Trial Doom Eli Lilly Stock?


When Judge Robert Heinrichs renders sentence on August 4, will your portfolio be the one to take the fall?

On that date, it is expected that the judge will make his rulings on sentencing for a teenage boy, arrested after allegedly killing a fellow teenager in what one doctor calls a clear case of “Prozac reaction.”

"There is no reason other than a Prozac reaction," said Dr. Peter Breggin, a New York state-based psychiatrist and author of the book, Talking Back to Prozac. "(The killing) is a mystery without that."

The entire affair starts with, of all things, an accidental dent put in the wood floor of the home of the accused by the victim. The accused, who was not home at the time of the accident, later invited the boys back to his house to hang out. When they were hanging out, the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed the boy in the chest.

The accused had been treated for depression and was prescribed Prozac three months prior to the killing. Some studies link the drug Prozac, first patented by Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) with behavioral and emotional changes in users under 18 years of age, including an increased risk of suicide.

After days after he began taking Prozac, the accused attempted suicide with some medication of his grandfather's. His parents complained to the physician that, rather than help, the drug was making the boy's condition worse. Rather than switch to a different drug, doctors increased the dosage of Prozac.

"It was a prescription for violence," Breggin wrote in a report for the defense.

"Within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, I believe that Prozac drove (the accused) into a state of severe agitation with manic-like symptoms including mood swings, confusion, irrationality, extreme irritability, hostility and violence."

Breggin said the teen should have stopped taking Prozac immediately after he attempted suicide.

"Right then and there should have been the end of the Prozac," Breggin said. "When you have a drug that is causing mania, you stop taking the drug."

Now, one boy is dead and another is in the morgue. Will Eli Lilly's stock take a tumble after the verdict, or will the judge find the boy's Prozac defense is nonsense? Will other lawsuits emerge? It could be a rough season of discontent for Eli Lilly.

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