Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Merck say's investors had enough indications of alleged fraud for Vioxx....

Well, Well, Well......

Seems that The Supreme Court is going to listen to an appeal by Merck in their bid to throw out the investor fraud lawsuit over the Vioxx debacle...

You can read the full article over at Bloomberg.com by clicking on the title of this post which links to it.

But here's an interesting paragraph:
"In its appeal, Merck said the investors had enough indications of alleged fraud by 2001 that they should have begun investigating. The company argued that the 3rd Circuit’s approach would prevent the two-year window from opening until “evidence supporting specific elements of fraud claim falls into an investor’s lap.”

So, a spokesperson for Merck is actually saying, that investors had enough indications of alleged fraud by 2001 and should have launched their lawsuit then rather than wait until 2003. Interestingly the shareholders, say that they actually believed what the company told them about the reasons why Vioxx was 5 times more likely than Naproxen to cause heart attacks....Anyway, I sure hope the folks down under in Australia present this article as evidence in their class action lawsuit......

So, the investors believed them, the doctors believed them, the patients believed them and now the company is "laughing" at everybody for believing them!!!

This has cost billions of dollars to Merck: "Merck agreed in 2007 to pay $4.85 billion to settle more than 26,000 patient lawsuits. The company, which is buying rival Schering-Plough Corp., is based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. " Who were the marketing "Wizards" that came up with the idea to play hide-n-seek with the cardiotoxicity data? I wonder what the total tally for Vioxx is with regards to drug discovery, clinical trials, bonuses, honorariums, marketing campaigns, and of course law suits. Has this become one of the most expensive failures? Hmmm, we should start a list....

3 comments:

  1. Great questions, Former.

    As I understandit, the 2001 date is intended to trigger the statute of limitations re: bringing suit. It is, of course, true that 2001 was the FDA Advisory Committee on Vioxx that led to the suggestion of a label change (which then Merck and FDA got delayed for the famous 14 months).

    Re: the cost of settlement, I think most observers agree that Merck did very well for itself. The 4.85 B is about half of what Merck took in while Vioxx was on the market. It is not a large number relative to fen-phen and other settlements.

    I suspect that the "cost of doing business" lesson might be a lesson that some would draw from this case.

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  2. Merck admits fraud when it’s in their best interest.

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  3. Defense AttorneyMay 28, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    In fairness, I don't think Merck is "admitting fraud" in their argument about dates. Rather, they argue that those who accuse them of fraud should go back to 2001 when there was, indeed, significant "noise" about the risks of Vioxx (which the company did, indeed, attempt to tamp down.)

    Depends what "is" is. I did not have sex with that woman. And I did not inhale.

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