Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Merck and Company    MRK

News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets

Merck & Co., Inc. : Lawsuit Claims Merck Overstated Mumps Vaccine Effectiveness

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
06/22/2012 | 07:32pm CEST
   By Jon Kamp 

Two former Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) employees have sued the company in federal court alleging Merck overstated the effectiveness of a mumps vaccine for which the U.S. government paid hundreds of millions of dollars.

Merck--which stressed that none of these allegations relate to the safety of its product--said the lawsuit is "completely without merit", and that it plans to "vigorously defend itself." The Whitehouse Station, N.J., drug maker also noted that the U.S. Department of Justice has thus far declined to participate in the case after its own two-year probe.

Mumps is a contagious disease that causes symptoms like fever, headache and swollen salivary glands. It was a common illness for kids and young adults before childhood vaccinations became common decades ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although there were outbreaks in 2006 and 2009. The agency says vaccines are the best way to prevent mumps.

Merck introduced the first vaccine 45 years ago, and since the 1970s it's been part of a combination product that also immunizes children against rubella and measles. According to the lawsuit--filed by former Merck virologists Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski--the company allegedly defrauded the U.S. for more than a decade by hiding the fact the vaccine had become less effective.

As a result, the former employees say the government has long paid for a product that doesn't live up to Merck's claims. The lawsuit seeks a judgment against Merck equal to three times the damages suffered by the U.S., plus the maximum allowable award for the former employees under federal whistleblower laws.

The suit was first filed in 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It was unsealed Thursday after the government declined to get involved in the case.

Merck confirmed Krahling and Wlochowski were former employees, but it said they haven't worked at the company for a decade.

"It's important to understand that none of the allegations in the complaint relate to the safety of M-M-R II"--the vaccine in question--"and we remain confident that M-M-R II helps protect against measles, mumps and rubella as described in the labeling for the vaccine," Merck said in a statement.

"M-M-R II continues to be recommended for routine administration to children by public health authorities around the world, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," the company said.

Merck doesn't specifically break out sales for the vaccine, but the company reported combined U.S. sales of $1.1 billion last year for that product and two other childhood vaccines. Merck shares recently traded up 1.9% to $40.19 and have risen 6.6% this year.

Write to Jon Kamp at [email protected]

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on MERCK AND COMPANY
09/21 MERCK AND : MSD`s Keytruda wins new bladder cancer indication in Europe
09/19 MERCK AND : Pro Baseball Hall of Famer and Cancer Survivor Mike Schmidt Joins Me..
09/14 MERCK AND : Rigontec Acquired by MSD
09/14 MERCK AND COMPANY : ex-dividend day
09/12 NOW AVAILABLE IN CANADA : ISENTRESS® HD (raltegravir), a New Once-Daily Option, ..
09/12 MERCK AND : KEYTRUDA Plus Pemetrexed and Carboplatin Demonstrated Continued Bene..
09/12 MERCK AND : KEYTRUDA Continues to Show Overall Survival Benefit over Chemotherap..
09/12 MERCK AND : Updated Data for Merck's KEYTRUDA in Patients with Advanced Gastric ..
09/12 MERCK AND : Incyte chalk up promising melanoma data for Keytruda-epacadostat com..
09/11 EISAI : Signs agreement with merck & co., inc., kenilworth, nj, usa to expand en..
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
09/21 FDA's Woodcock says clinical trials system "broken"
09/21 Mirati Brings Hope With Its Stellar Performance
09/21 Hold On To Zoetis In 2017
09/18 NOVARTIS : The Value Creator
09/17 GALILEO'S LAMENT : The Rejection Of Science Hurts The Economy
Financials ($)
Sales 2017 40 323 M
EBIT 2017 13 721 M
Net income 2017 5 623 M
Debt 2017 5 469 M
Yield 2017 2,87%
P/E ratio 2017 32,75
P/E ratio 2018 19,58
EV / Sales 2017 4,57x
EV / Sales 2018 4,46x
Capitalization 179 B
Duration : Period :
Merck and Company Technical Analysis Chart | MRK | US58933Y1055 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends MERCK AND COMPANY
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 70,1 $
Spread / Average Target 6,9%
EPS Revisions
Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robert M. Davis CFO & Executive Vice President-Global Services
Clark Golestani Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Thomas Henry Glocer Independent Director
Rochelle B. Lazarus Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
MERCK AND COMPANY11.75%178 914
BAYER11.37%431 753
JOHNSON & JOHNSON15.63%357 562
NOVARTIS11.88%225 389
ROCHE HOLDING LTD.6.19%220 645
PFIZER10.81%214 325