labels: Merck & Co
Merck, Schering-Plough settle Vyotorin dispute with states news
16 July 2009

Merck and Schering-Plough yesterday said they have agreed to pay 35 states $5.4 million to settle allegations that they delayed announcing the negative findings from a study of Vytorin, the company's cholesterol fighting drug.

The 35 states and District of Columbia had leveled allegations that the company, withheld unfavorable data from the public for 20 months about their cholesterol remedy Vyotorin and a related medicine called Zetia through a joint venture, from their so-called Enhance study.

Vytorin"As part of the resolution of the multi-state investigation, the companies agreed to reimburse the investigative costs of the 35 states and the District of Columbia which totaled $5.4 million," the drugmakers said in a joint press release.

The study revealed that Vyotorin failed to produce better results than Merck's older Zocor cholesterol fighter. The drug not was no better than Zocor (simvastatin) in reducing plaque in the carotid arteries.

Zocor sells for a quarter of the cost of Vytorin, according to prices on online sources.

The drugmakers who will merge later this year, said that under the terms of the agreement they are not liable to admit misconduct or make additional payments.

Sales of the drugs that had become big blockbuster products plunged on announcement of the results of the trial which ended in May 2006 and have never recovered since then.

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Merck, Schering-Plough settle Vyotorin dispute with states