Saturday, February 16, 2013

Merck settles suits over cholesterol drug (USA)

Merck settles suits over cholesterol drug (USA)Merck has agreed to pay $688 million to settle lawsuits claiming that it had harmed investors by delaying the release of unfavorable study results for its cholesterol drug Vytorin, the company announced recently. Merck said it had recorded a $493 million charge to cover the cost of the settlement. Merck earned $6.66 billion in net income last year on revenue of about $47 billion based on generally accepted accounting principles. So that charge is only 7.4 percent of last year’s profits. Investors filed two lawsuits against Merck and Schering-Plough, which jointly sold Vytorin. The suits asserted that the companies had known for nearly two years that a clinical trial of the drug failed to show that it was any better than a statin drug at limiting the buildup of plaque in arteries, but they did not make the results public until 2008

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