Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Merck & Co., Inc.    MRK

SummaryQuotesChartsNewsAnalysisCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
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
0
06/22/2012 | 07:32pm CET
   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 jon.kamp@dowjones.com

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on MERCK & CO., INC.
05:05p MERCK : Study Findings from Merck & Company Broaden Understanding of Hepatitis C..
02:44p RECENT STUDIES FROM MERCK & COMPANY : A...
02:29p MERCK : Announces EPOCH Study of Verubecestat for the Treatment of People with M..
12:37p MERCK : New Data from Merck & Company Illuminate Findings in Immunoglobulins (Tr..
12:30p MERCK : Study Results from Merck & Company in the Area of Vaccines Reported (Des..
11:17a MERCK : Research Data from Merck & Company Update Understanding of Hypertension ..
09:22a DATA FROM MERCK & COMPANY ADVANCE KN : a snapshot of recent data in pediatric an..
09:21a MERCK : Researchers at Merck & Company Report New Data on Melanoma (Population P..
07:29a MERCK : Studies from Merck & Company Have Provided New Information about Biophar..
04:28a MERCK : Findings from Merck & Company in Pharmacokinetics Provides New Insights ..
More news
Sector news : Pharmaceuticals - NEC
04:12pDJASTRAZENECA : Hyperkalaemia Drug Clears Scientific Hurdle for European Approval
02:02pDJASTRAZENECA : Gets Approval for Drug Treating Hyperkalaemia
02/23DJPFIZER : Files 8K - Changes Executive Management
02/23DJGlaxoSmithKline Reports Positive Study Results for Asthma Drug
02/23DJPURETECH HEALTH : Appoints Atul Pande as Chief Medical Officer
More sector news : Pharmaceuticals - NEC
News from SeekingAlpha
09:42a SYNERGY : 3 Scenarios, 1 Choice
09:34a I'M SICK AND TIRED OF GILEAD SCIENCE : Part 2
02/23 Merck to take $2.9B charge related to uprifosbuvir
02/23 OncoSec's ImmunoPulse shows treatment effect in mid-stage melanoma study; sha..
02/23 Is Pfizer's Research Pipeline Truly Undervalued?
Advertisement
Financials ($)
Sales 2017 39 712 M
EBIT 2017 13 517 M
Net income 2017 8 459 M
Debt 2017 4 770 M
Yield 2017 2,85%
P/E ratio 2017 20,14
P/E ratio 2018 17,11
EV / Sales 2017 4,69x
EV / Sales 2018 4,54x
Capitalization 181 558 M
More Financials
Chart MERCK & CO., INC.
Duration : Period :
Merck & Co., Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MRK | US58933Y1055 | 4-Traders
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends MERCK & CO., INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Technical analysis
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 68,7 $
Spread / Average Target 4,3%
Consensus details
EPS Revisions
More Estimates Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robert M. Davis Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Clark Golestani Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Thomas Henry Glocer Independent Director
Rochelle B. Lazarus Independent Director
More about the company
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
MERCK & CO., INC.10.91%181 558
JOHNSON & JOHNSON3.74%331 089
ROCHE HOLDING LTD.5.98%209 906
PFIZER INC.3.42%206 688
NOVARTIS AG3.51%201 806
SANOFI4.38%109 628
More Results