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.
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The increased heart risk from Vioxx, Merck & Co.'s withdrawn arthritis medicine, begins much earlier than after 18 months of use, according to a study contradicting assertions by the drug maker and its scientists.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.
May 14, 2007 |
When Merck launched a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign last year to promote Gardasil, its new vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, company officials probably did not anticipate that its signature phrase -- "one less" -- would apply not just to malignancies but also to physicians. Yet that slogan has come to symbolize the response of doctors.
April 13, 2007 |
A painkiller proposed as a successor to Vioxx should not be approved, a panel of federal health advisors recommended to the FDA. The nonbinding 20-1 vote was on the prescription drug Arcoxia, made by Merck & Co. Inc. A Food and Drug Administration drug safety expert had told the panel the drug might substantially increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and was no more effective for pain relief than other medicines in the same class.