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Vytorin

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NEWS
September 2, 2008 | By Maria Cheng, ASSOCIATED PRESS
MUNICH, Germany - Results so far from three studies of the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin are not enough to prove or rule out a possible link to a higher risk of cancer, so the drug should be used with caution until more is known, editors of a leading medical journal urged Tuesday. The New England Journal of Medicine published results online from one study and an analysis of partial results from two others. They also were presented at a cardiology conference in Munich. Vytorin is a combination of Merck's Zocor, a long-sold statin drug, and Schering-Plough's Zetia, a newer type of medicine that lowers cholesterol in a different way. The possible cancer risk unexpectedly arose in July, when Terje Pedersen of Oslo, Norway, announced preliminary results from a study testing whether Vytorin could prevent damage to the heart's aortic valve from worsening.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2008 | By Karl Stark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
First came the negative publicity, then the lawsuits. Merck & Co. and Schering Plough Corp., makers of the cholesterol-lowering combination drug Vytorin, are getting hit with a wave of lawsuits asserting the companies knew its product didn't work and delayed telling the public about it. At least 10 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts, with half the filings in New Jersey, where both parent companies are based. Other federal suits have landed in California, New York, Ohio and Colorado.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2008 | By Stacey Burling INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
European researchers yesterday reported disappointing results for Vytorin, a costly, heavily advertised cholesterol drug, when it came to treating heart-valve disease. Shares of the pharmaceutical companies that market the drug together - Merck & Co. Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp. - fell after a preliminary analysis of study results was released. The study found Vytorin did not prevent complications from aortic stenosis, a condition in which blood-flow to the heart is blocked.
NEWS
July 24, 2004 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Get ready for an all-out war of the cholesterol-lowering drugs. Will it be Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor - or Vytorin? The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved Vytorin, which combines two existing cholesterol medicines, Zocor and Zetia, into a single tablet. The combination - Zetia from Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor - has been shown in two company-sponsored studies to lower cholesterol better than Zocor alone or than Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, from Pfizer Inc., with sales last year of $9.23 billion.
NEWS
January 15, 2008 | By Karl Stark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A much-awaited test of the cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia failed to show that it had significant benefit compared with a generic compound. But doctors said it wasn't clear whether Zetia, which is half of the combination drug Vytorin, would yet be proven more beneficial against the condition afflicting millions of Americans. The study, in any event, poses a marketing challenge - and possibly other problems - for Vytorin's makers, Merck & Co. Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp., who together share profits from the widely prescribed combination drug.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2008 | By Bob Fernandez INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc., which has lost patent protection on one of its big revenue producers, osteoporosis drug Fosamax, said yesterday that first-quarter sales rose 1 percent and earnings soared on a special $2.2 billion pretax gain from a limited partnership with AstraZeneca P.L.C. The company also warned of four factory closings or sales outside the United States and said it could suffer $700 million in lost earnings in 2008 because of scientific questions over the effectiveness of cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin that likely will lead to lower sales of the drugs.
NEWS
January 29, 2008 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Loftus did everything she could think of to bring down her high cholesterol. But nothing - not diet, not exercise, not even natural supplements - helped her control the problem. After six years of trying, the otherwise healthy 36-year-old nurse from Marlton was ready to take her doctor's advice: start a lifelong, daily regimen of cholesterol-lowering statins. It's what millions of Americans do - turning statins into huge moneymakers for drug companies. The cholesterol-lowering drugs have been shown in clinical studies to reduce the risk of death, heart attack and other problems in patients with cardiovascular disease, but it is less clear that they help patients such as Loftus who don't yet have heart disease.
NEWS
January 29, 2008 | By Josh Goldstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Jennifer Loftus did everything she could think of to bring down her high cholesterol. But nothing - not diet, not exercise, not even natural supplements - helped her control the problem.   After six years of trying, the otherwise healthy 36-year-old nurse from Marlton was ready to take her doctor's advice: start a lifelong, daily regimen of cholesterol-lowering statins.   It's what millions of Americans do - turning statins into huge moneymakers for drug companies.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. said Thursday that it would pay $668 million to settle two class-action lawsuits by investors who accused the company of not properly disclosing the failure of a cholesterol drug to meet its target in a key clinical trial. Merck's announcement followed a disclosure by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that after it had already set aside $670 million to cover potential damages in a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by Pfizer Inc., the "ultimate resolution of this matter could result in a loss of up to $1.4 billion" more - a potential total of about $2.1 billion.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2004 | By Thomas Ginsberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc., the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant facing costly fallout from its recall of the painkiller Vioxx, lowered its earnings estimates yesterday, but vowed aggressive research and marketing on other drugs to soften the blow. The guidance from Merck, which has thousands of employees across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, appeared to mute at least briefly analysts' dire warnings about a firm once considered a model of growth and integrity in the industry. Merck estimated its full-year earnings this year at between $2.59 and $2.64 a share, lowered by 50 cents to 55 cents largely because of $700 million to $750 million in lost sales and other costs stemming from Vioxx.
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BUSINESS
February 16, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. said Thursday that it would pay $668 million to settle two class-action lawsuits by investors who accused the company of not properly disclosing the failure of a cholesterol drug to meet its target in a key clinical trial. Merck's announcement followed a disclosure by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that after it had already set aside $670 million to cover potential damages in a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by Pfizer Inc., the "ultimate resolution of this matter could result in a loss of up to $1.4 billion" more - a potential total of about $2.1 billion.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2012
In the Region Merck settles suit over Vytorin Merck & Co. has settled a lawsuit over claims the drugmaker delayed releasing disappointing results of a study that management had hoped would instead boost sales of a key drug. The settlement ends a four-year-long case shareholders had filed after the company for 21 months delayed releasing results on a study of Vytorin likely to hurt future sales of the blockbuster pill for treating high cholesterol. The settlement's key provision is aimed at ensuring patients and investors get important study data promptly.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2010 | By Stacey Burling INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Investors suing Merck over its handling of the pain medication Vioxx got a boost Tuesday from the U.S. Supreme Court. In a case that hinged on when a two-year statute-of-limitations clock started ticking, the court backed lawyers suing Merck & Co. Inc. in a class-action securities-fraud lawsuit. Merck, which has substantial operations in this area, pulled Vioxx from the market in 2004 because it increased heart problems. It expects to have completed $4.85 billion in payments to patients to resolve injury claims by the end of the year, said Ron Rogers, a Merck spokesman.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2009 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc. yesterday reported a 57 percent drop in first-quarter profit, short of Wall Street estimates, as sales of key drugs fell. The maker of asthma and allergy drug Singulair and the Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer said net income totaled $1.43 billion, or 67 cents per share. A year ago, first-quarter net income was $3.3 billion, or $1.52 a share. Last year's results included a one-time pretax gain of $2.2 billion from Merck's partnership with Britain's AstraZeneca P.L.C.
NEWS
March 10, 2009 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc. said very few, if any, of its 12,000 Philadelphia-area jobs would be lost in the $41.1 billion merger it announced yesterday with Schering-Plough Corp., a deal that company executives billed as their answer to meager growth prospects and increasing generic competition. "Minimal or none at all," Merck chief executive Richard Clark said about the impact of the proposed merger on his company's three Montgomery County facilities. The two companies do not overlap in Pennsylvania, said Clark, who lives in Doylestown.
NEWS
September 2, 2008 | By Maria Cheng, ASSOCIATED PRESS
MUNICH, Germany - Results so far from three studies of the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin are not enough to prove or rule out a possible link to a higher risk of cancer, so the drug should be used with caution until more is known, editors of a leading medical journal urged Tuesday. The New England Journal of Medicine published results online from one study and an analysis of partial results from two others. They also were presented at a cardiology conference in Munich. Vytorin is a combination of Merck's Zocor, a long-sold statin drug, and Schering-Plough's Zetia, a newer type of medicine that lowers cholesterol in a different way. The possible cancer risk unexpectedly arose in July, when Terje Pedersen of Oslo, Norway, announced preliminary results from a study testing whether Vytorin could prevent damage to the heart's aortic valve from worsening.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2008 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Advertisements appearing this week that attack GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. don't beat around the bush: "DON'T BE FOOLED: GlaxoSmithKline's scare tactics are only concerned with protecting its profit, not the health of people with HIV/AIDS," the ads read. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is running the spots in the Washington Blade, the Village Voice, and Frontier Magazine to counter GlaxoSmithKline ads that the group fears will scare patients away from new treatments. In those ads, sharks circle and lions stalk alongside the tag line "avoid hidden dangers from changing your HIV medicine.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2008 | By Stacey Burling INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
European researchers yesterday reported disappointing results for Vytorin, a costly, heavily advertised cholesterol drug, when it came to treating heart-valve disease. Shares of the pharmaceutical companies that market the drug together - Merck & Co. Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp. - fell after a preliminary analysis of study results was released. The study found Vytorin did not prevent complications from aortic stenosis, a condition in which blood-flow to the heart is blocked.
NEWS
July 21, 2008 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - Wall Street fluctuated today as investors worried about earnings at drug makers Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. Both pharmaceutical companies fell after a new study showed that their cholesterol drug Vytorin did not meet its main goals. Earlier in the day, they took the unusual step of delaying their second-quarter results until after the closing bell to allow researchers time to present the report. The latest study results, released early this afternoon, indicate that reducing LDL cholesterol with Vytorin appears to reduce risks in patients with some - but not all - heart-related ailments.
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