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Merck to Offer Guarantee on Zocor Drug

November 06, 1998|Bloomberg News

Merck & Co. said it will offer a money-back guarantee on its cholesterol-reducing drug Zocor in an effort to recover market share lost to Warner-Lambert's Lipitor. Merck, the world's biggest drug maker, said it will refund as much as six months of Zocor's cost to patients whose LDL cholesterol levels don't fall to targets set by their doctors. The offer requires that patients try a 30-day prescription of Zocor's 80-milligram dose. Zocor, Merck's top-selling drug, costs about $3 to $3.50 a day. Patients who receive it via insurance plans will be compensated only for their share of the cost, Merck said. Insurers also are eligible for the refund. Many physicians say Lipitor, introduced last year, is more effective than Zocor. Shares of Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck rose $3.63 to close at $141.94, while shares of Morris Plains, N.J.-based Warner-Lambert fell $1.38 to $74.88. Both trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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