Unfavorable studies on the antipsychotic drug Seroquel were "buried" by U.K.-based drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, according to a December 1999 e-mail unsealed Thursday as part of legal action over the drug, the Bloomberg news service reported.
AstraZeneca faces about 9,000 lawsuits claiming the company failed to properly warn patients that the drug can cause diabetes and other health problems.
In the e-mail, AstraZeneca publications manager John Tumas said the company failed to publicize results of at least three clinical trials of Seroquel and selectively chose data from one of the studies for use in a presentation, Bloomberg reported.
"The larger issue is how we face the outside world when they begin to criticize us for suppressing data," Tumas wrote in the e-mail.
Seroquel is approved in the United States for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
In an e-mailed statement, company spokesman Tony Jewell said: "AstraZeneca has studied Seroquel extensively and shared all relevant and required data with the FDA -- both before and after the agency approved it as safe and effective," Bloomberg reported.