January 23, 2008 |
Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. suspended television ads Tuesday for the cholesterol pills Vytorin and Zetia after a study questioned the benefit of the medicines. The Vytorin commercials were among the most widely aired drug ads, featuring people dressed as food items to show the pill lowers cholesterol from food as well as from genetics. The ads were voluntarily and temporarily halted, Schering-Plough spokesman Lee Davies said.
December 14, 2007 |
The government should reject Merck & Co. Inc.'s third bid to sell a cholesterol-lowering pill without a doctor's prescription, an advisory panel ruled. Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration voted 10 to 2 with one abstention against Merck's proposal for a low-dose, over-the-counter version of its cholesterol fighter Mevacor. FDA officials usually follow the panel's recommendations.
November 10, 2007 |
Merck & Co.'s decision to pay $4.85 billion to settle tens of thousands of claims from patients who took the popular painkiller Vioxx may stiffen the resolve of other companies facing litigation over pharmaceutical products or other consumer goods. The settlement, announced Friday, may also vindicate the drug maker's initial strategy of aggressively fighting virtually every injury claim, legal experts said.
November 9, 2007 |
Merck & Co., after setting aside nothing to resolve liability over its Vioxx painkiller, may pay about $5 billion to settle claims that it hid the health risks of its withdrawn drug, three lawyers with direct knowledge of the accord said. Merck, the third-largest U.S. drug maker, pulled Vioxx off the market in 2004 after a study showed it raised the risk of heart attacks in some patients.
July 26, 2007 |
The increased heart risk from Vioxx, Merck & Co.'s withdrawn arthritis medicine, begins much earlier than after 18 months of use, according to a study contradicting assertions by the drug maker and its scientists. The 2,434-patient study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was halted early when the medicine was pulled from the market in September 2004. Although the median duration of treatment was only 7.
July 4, 2007 |
A federal judge ruled that Merck & Co. must defend lawsuits over its Vioxx painkiller, rejecting an argument that U.S. regulations preclude patients from claiming they weren't warned about the drug's risks. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans denied Merck's request to dismiss two cases on the grounds that the Vioxx warning label was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.