Navigation Links
Lawsuit Filed in Florida Federal Court Over Marketing of Vytorin and Zetia By Merck and Schering-Plough
Date:1/24/2008

Lawsuit alleges violations of consumer statutes, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment; Damages would involve return of proceeds from sales in excess of $5 billion last year, mostly paid through Medicare, Medicaid,

other federal drug programs and private insurance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Howard and Associates, P.A. and Wilner Block, P.A. announced that they have filed a lawsuit against Merck & Company Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP), manufacturers of Vytorin and Zetia.

The lawsuit was filed on January 18, 2008, in United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, alleging violations of state consumer protection statutes, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages from Merck and Schering-Plough for their marketing and sale of Vytorin and Zetia.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which seeks class action status, is Marion J. Greene, a 72-year old grandmother of three who purchased Zetia and was reimbursed through federal Medicare and Veterans Administration drug programs.

"I was shocked to see that I was using a drug costing three times what a generic would, with no additional benefits," said Mrs. Greene. "I feel I've been intentionally misled by companies whose main pursuit is profits, rather than health."

Published reports indicate combined revenues of more than $5 billion from sales of Vytorin and Zetia. Most drug costs are paid for through public health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, or through private insurance. Under state and federal consumer protection laws, both Merck and Schering-Plough would have to refund overpayments, since generic statin drugs can be obtained for approximately 1/3 of the cost of the brand name drugs. Both companies would also face punitive damages.

Schering-Plough Corporation manufactures, markets, and/or sells the prescription drug Zetia. Zetia is a cholesterol-lowering drug, which acts by diminishing the absorption of cholesterol through the intestines.

Merck Corporation, Inc. manufactures, markets and/or sells the prescription drug Vytorin which is Merck's brand-name composite drug consisting of a proprietary combination of Zetia and Zocor. The drug Zocor is a statin, which reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood.

According to the complaint, on January 14, 2008, "possibly prompted by Congressional inquiry," Merck and Schering-Plough released a study from April, 2006, that found Vytorin provided no significant benefit in slowing the clogging of arteries versus generic statin drugs -- in fact, some patients showed an increase in triglycerides when compared to those using generic statin drugs alone. Publication of the study was withheld for almost two years. In the meantime, Vytorin had been marketed as "the only drug that helps: Block the absorption of cholesterol that comes from food," and "Reduces the cholesterol your body makes naturally," with the result of "less bad cholesterol . . . in your bloodstream."

Indeed, just yesterday Merck and Schering-Plough placed advertisements in major newspapers stating they "proudly stand behind the established efficacy and safety profile of Zetia and Vytorin."

Boston Professor Tim Howard J.D, Ph.D, Director of the Doctorate Program in Law & Policy at Northeastern University, founding partner of Howard & Associates, P.A., a leading law firm based in Tallahassee, Florida, and co- counsel in the case, said: "It's not just patients who are being ripped off by fraudulent marketing claims. It's health systems, insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, and -- ultimately -- the U.S. taxpayer."

Dr. Howard is joined on the case by Richard A. Daynard, Professor of Law at Northeastern University, along with Wilner Block, P.A., a leading law firm based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Pr. Daynard said: "This is just another example of why healthcare costs have skyrocketed in the United States. If you want to talk about reforming our nation's healthcare system, this would be a good place to start."

Norwood "Woody" Wilner, founding partner at Wilner Block said: "Merck and Schering-Plough's response has been to assure the public that Zetia and Vytorin are safe and effective. But that's not the point. Millions of patients have been sold a drug that these companies' own studies show doesn't do what it was marketed and advertised to do. And both companies have known about their study results for almost two years."

"That," Mr. Wilner added, "is the definition of 'consumer fraud'."


'/>"/>
SOURCE Howard and Associates, P.A.; Wilner Block, P.A.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The Willie Gary Law Firm Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Durham County LME, Wake County LME, Five County LME, Mecklenberg County LME and Value Options, Inc. for Negligent and Intentional Misconduct Against Mental Health Agency
2. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center Responds to ACLU Lawsuit
3. CoolTouch Inc. Responds to Cynosure Patent Infringement Lawsuit
4. Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Security Capital Assurance Ltd.
5. Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KgaA File Lawsuits Against Several Companies for Patent Infringement
6. Famed Attorney Willie Gary Files $10.6 Billion in Lawsuits against Big Tobacco Companies on Behalf of Florida Smokers and their Families
7. Cynosure Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against CoolTouch Inc.
8. Marin County Scandal and Elder Abuse Horror: Lawsuits Link Death Nurse, Bay Area lawyers, Doctor and Blind Eye by Local, State, and National Public Officials
9. Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces 25 Days Remaining to Move to Be a Lead Plaintiff in the Shareholder Lawsuit Against Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
10. Procter & Gamble Files Infringement Lawsuit
11. Martek Announces Settlement of Class Action Lawsuit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 ... Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic ... the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Global MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to ... The report contains up to date financial ... reliable analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on ... dive analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship ... The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... to let type 1 diabetes stand in the way ... Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: