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CORRECTED: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro Files Suit Against Merck and Schering-Plough
Date:1/24/2008

Lawsuit claims companies knowingly misled consumers on the use of Zetia and

Vytorin.

NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP), manufacturers of Zetia and Vytorin alleging Merck and Schering-Plough violated state consumer protection laws arising from the sale and marketing of Zetia and Vytorin.

The suit was filed on Jan. 17, 2008 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey.

Vytorin is the combination of Zetia and Zocor, a statin now available as a generic drug for about one-third of the cost.

The suit claims the companies have known since 2006 that the combination of drugs was no more effective than the generic version of Zocor in blocking the fatty arterial plaques that can cause heart attack and stroke, as it led consumers to believe.

Zetia is a brand-name prescription used to lower LDL levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption in the intestinal tract. Other cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins work in the liver.

Zetia was developed by Schering-Plough and jointly marketed by Merck and Schering-Plough, as is Vytorin.

The companies promoted Zetia heavily, advertising that by adding it to statin treatment, patients could more effectively lower LDL cholesterol which they claim would, in turn, reduce plaque in patients' arteries.

But according to the complaint, the companies had prior information that ref
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SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
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