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Merck Paying Price For Cholesterol Lowering Vytorin and Zetia

Armen Hareyan's picture
Zetia and Vytorin

Two giant pharmaceutical drug makers Merck and Schering-Plough Corp. will not admit any wrongdoings, but will pay the price of $5.4 million dollars for covered up test results that cast doubt on the effectiveness of two well known cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia

Attorney General offices in 35 states had been investigating whether Merck and Schering-Plough violated state consumer protection laws in connection with the ENHANCE clinical trial or by their promotion and marketing of VYTORIN and ZETIA. Now the settlement is reeach with a multistate group of attorneys general representing 35 states and the District of Columbia.

The way the settlement is reached will allow the company no to make admission of misconduct or liability by the companies in regard to this case related to cholesterol lowering drugs Vytorin and Zetia. Merck and Schering-Plough will only pay the investigative costs of this case.

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Merck's executive vice president Bruce N. Kuhlik said that today's agreement is consistent with their belief that the drugmakers conducted the ENHANCE trial in good faith and that their promotion of cholesterol lowering drugs VYTORIN and ZETIA was in compliance with the law. "Resolving these inquiries for an amount equal to the states' investigative costs is in the interests of all stakeholders," said Thomas J. Sabatino, executive vice president and general counsel of Schering-Plough.

The two companies are critiqued for delaying a study about the cholesterol lowering drugs Vytorin and Zetia abour their level of effectiveness two years later than the actual study is conducted. In 2008, the companies released studies showing Vytorin and Zetia, sold by the Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals joint venture, were not more effective than an older drug at reducing plaque buildup.

How can delaying a release of a study that a new drug is not more effective than an older drug about the same disease or condition and packeting the money from the sales for two years be done in good faith?

Source: Merck Release