September 2, 2008 |
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.
January 26, 2008 |
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.
July 22, 2008 |
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.
July 24, 2004 |
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.
January 15, 2008 |
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.
April 22, 2008 |
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.
January 29, 2008 |
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.
January 29, 2008 |
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.
February 16, 2013 |
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.
December 9, 2004 |
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.