Schering-plough, Merck Settle $41.5 Million Class Action

Legal The pharmaceutical .panies Schering-Plough and their partner Merck & Co. have .e to a preliminary settlement agreement with lawyers for patients and physicians taking or prescribing the statin drugs Vytorin and Zetia. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has given a settlement package preliminary approval; early reports put the cost to the .panies at $41.5 million dollars to be split equally among patients, insurance .panies, and individual insurance claims. The Zetia & Vytorin class action lawsuit alleged that the .panies misrepresented both drugs in an attempt to boost sales. Claims that the drug was superior to .peting anti-hyperlipidemic medications coupled with an inflated selling price were validated in court and the case has been a victory for many patients. The settlement awards a total of 41.5 million dollars in damages to be split accordingly: $12,450,000 to consumers, $14,525,000 to insurers, and $14,525,000 to insurers who are settling their claims individually. In order to claim a portion of the allocated funds, persons involved in litigation must submit a valid claim form postmarked by April 1, 2010. They give up the right to sue and will be bound by all court orders, according to court documents. The amount of money received by each individual will vary based on their purchases of either Zetia or Vytorin and the number of valid claims filed. Both .panies were implicated in another court-ordered settlement. On January 14, 2008, the New York Times reported that a clinical trial of Zetia designed to show that the drug could reduce the growth of fatty plaques in arteries instead showed a growth of plaques. The trial was called the ENHANCE trial and in April 2006, Merck and Schering-Plough .pleted research. The .panies had initially planned to release the findings in March 2007, however, the .panies missed several planned deadlines. In December 2007, the .panies finally agreed to publish the results "soon" after the delays were publicized in news reports. In July, 2009 both Merck and Schering-Plough agreed to pay 5.4 million to settle charges related to a separate violation of consumer protection laws. The case hinged on the delayed release of data from this ENHANCE trial. In that case, attorneys general from 35 states and the District of Columbia alleged that the .panies intentionally delayed the release of results from the ENHANCE trial in order to promote the efficacy of the two medications and market them as superior alternatives to traditional therapies. The findings from the trial found that the .bination statin drug therapy was no better at slowing atherosclerosis (also known as Arteriosclerotic Vascular Disease or ASVD) than simvastatin alone. High cholesterol levels are a serious concern in the United States. It has been estimated by the American Heart Association that nearly 1 in 5 Americans are candidates for increased chance of heart disease, liver failure, as well as other serious health .plications due to high cholesterol levels. Several major pharmaceutical .panies have released medications designed to .bat this problem; these medicines, known as anti-hyperlipidemics, have been some of the most popular and successful drugs in recent past. Approximately 30 million prescriptions are written each year for these cholesterol-lowering medications with an estimated annual revenue of $20 billion for the pharmaceutical industry. Any individual having taken these drugs who may qualify to be part of Zetia/Vytorin settlement may wish to contact a qualified Zetia attorney or Vytorin law firm. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: