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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro: Vytorin and Zetia Makers Settle Class-Action Suit With Proposed $41.5 Million
Date:8/5/2009

BOSTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ --- Attorneys representing consumers and third-party payors today announced a proposed $41.5 million settlement with drug manufacturers Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) to settle allegations the companies suppressed critical information about the efficacy and safety of prescription drugs Vytorin and Zetia. Merck and Schering-Plough previously settled similar claims with 35 states and the District of Columbia for $5.4 million.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080317/AQM144LOGO)

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (HBSS), counsel for a nationwide class of third-party payors, brought the suit against manufacturers along with consumers in January 2008. Thomas M. Sobol, lead attorney on the case, hailed the agreement as an excellent result for plaintiffs.

"I am very pleased that we reached a comprehensive settlement that serves our clients' interest so well," Sobol said. "This settlement also reflects the vital role private litigation plays in holding pharmaceutical companies accountable when the FDA cannot."

Vytorin is the combination of prescription pills Zetia and Zocor, a statin available as a generic drug for about one-third the cost. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zetia and Vytorin on the basis that the drugs reduced "bad" - or LDL - cholesterol. Defendants failed to present any evidence to the FDA that these drugs actually reduced the risk of heart disease or strokes.

Plaintiffs allege Merck and Schering-Plough created a joint venture in an attempt to protect profits from
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SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
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