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Merck Co Inc

BUSINESS
March 13, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Merck & Co.'s Vioxx painkiller helped cause an Idaho mail carrier's heart attack, a New Jersey jury found, ordering the drug maker to pay him and his wife $47.5 million in a retrial of a case the man originally lost. Jurors in Atlantic City imposed actual damages of $20 million and punitive damages of $27.5 million after ruling that Vioxx was partly to blame for Frederick Humeston's 2001 heart attack.
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BUSINESS
March 3, 2007 | From Reuters
Jurors in New Jersey found that Merck & Co. failed to provide adequate warnings about health risks tied to its withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx in one case, but they decided that it gave adequate warning in another in two suits tried simultaneously.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Merck & Co. raised its earnings forecast for the first quarter on higher demand for new drugs including a cervical cancer vaccine and a diabetes pill. First-quarter profit probably will be 63 cents to 67 cents a share when costs for job cuts and plant closings are excluded, said Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck. The forecast beat the average estimate of 59 cents a share, excluding restructuring costs, of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2007 | From Times Staff Reports and the Associated Press
Merck & Co., bowing to pressure from parents and medical groups, is immediately suspending its lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to mandate that adolescent girls get the company's new vaccine against cervical cancer as a requirement for school attendance. The drug maker, which announced the change Tuesday, had been criticized for quietly funding the campaign, via a third party, to require that 11- and 12-year-old girls get the three-dose vaccine in order to attend school.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2007 | From Reuters
The Food and Drug Administration said it was notifying healthcare providers and consumers about reports of about 28 cases of infants suffering a serious bowel condition after receiving Merck & Co.'s new vaccine against rotavirus. The FDA said it was not clear how many of the 28 reported cases were caused by the vaccine. It said the condition, known as intussusception, can occur in the absence of vaccination.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Merck & Co.'s profit fell as generic competition eroded sales of its top-selling cholesterol pill Zocor, and Wyeth reported a fifth straight earnings increase on demand for new arthritis and pneumonia treatments. Merck, the third-largest U.S. drug maker, said Tuesday that net income dropped 58% in the fourth quarter, partly because of costs for acquiring a gene technology that won a Nobel Prize last year. Madison, N.J.
BUSINESS
December 22, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A judge in a Texas widow's lawsuit over the Merck & Co. drug Vioxx on Thursday reduced a $32-million jury award to $8.7 million so that it conformed to state law. A state jury in April found Merck liable for the 2001 death of Leonel Garza, a 71-year-old man who had a fatal heart attack within a month of taking the since-withdrawn painkiller.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2006 | From Reuters
A Birmingham, Ala., jury handed Merck & Co. its second victory of the week in a Vioxx product liability trial, finding the drug maker did not hide the health risks associated with its withdrawn arthritis drug, or knowingly market a faulty product. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck had been sued by Gary Albright, 59, who blamed Vioxx for his 2001 heart attack.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Merck & Co.'s Vioxx painkiller didn't cause a Tennessee man's 2003 heart attack, a federal jury ruled. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck withdrew Vioxx in 2004 after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks. Anthony Wayne Dedrick, a 51-year-old smoker who, according to his lawyer, has diabetes, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease and a history of cocaine use, suffered a heart attack after going on Vioxx.
BUSINESS
December 13, 2006 | From Reuters
Merck & Co. expects to seek U.S. approval in 2007 for drugs to treat HIV, cholesterol and insomnia, and it aims to have four more products in late-stage trials by midyear, the company said Tuesday. The products due to be in late-stage trials are MK-524B, which raises "good" HDL cholesterol; weight-loss drug MK-364, which works through the same mechanism as Sanofi-Aventis' Acomplia; MK-974 for migraine headaches; and MK-822, which treats osteoporosis by blocking a protein called Cathepsin K.
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