The FDA gave Eli Lilly approval for Zyprexa (olanzapine) to treat schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adolescents aged 13-17 years old. The drug offers a new opportunity for physicians in younger patients that did not respond to other pharmaceutical therapies. The approval followed a positive recommendation from an FDA advisory panel in June.
Zyprexa joins BMS’s Abilify and J&J’s Risperdal, which already have approval for pediatric use.
Zyprexa is a certified blockbuster with global sales of $4.7 billion in 2008, providing over 23% of Lilly’s revenues. Americans spent over $14.6 billion on antipsychotics in 2008 – making it the best selling type of medication in the U.S.