Two whistleblowers said that Merck failed to update a lack of effectiveness with their MMR vaccine, and in the process made false claims to the FDA to obtain government funding that should not have been available!
Merck has been put under the gun for false claims, and has been penalized severely in the past for wrongdoing. ¬†$950M for Vioxx, $250k for failing to report routine followup studies on a diabetes med, and $1.6B in total fines for FRAUD reported by USA TODAY.
Basically Merck is bad. ¬†You might have heard me tell the story from my patient who sold Mevacor (the first Statin Drug on the market, produced by Merck), back in 1987 when it was first released. ¬†She talks about how they simply needed to get docs to sign up 100 patients, and that doc had a Hawaii vacation in the bag. ¬†Part of the life of a late 1980’s drug pusher, as it so commonly seemed to become.
New laws have altered that fiasco, thus pushing large Pharma companies into even more wrongdoing it seems.
Check out the excerpt from this article regarding the MMR Vaccine and the whistleblowers:
Two former Merck ($MRK) employees lodged a whistleblower suit against the drugmaker, alleging that it overstated the effectiveness of its MMR vaccine. The¬†False Claims Act¬†lawsuit says Merck didn’t revise its claims about the combination shot’s efficacy, despite the fact that it had become less effective. So, the employees say, government health programs paid for the product for 10 years without knowing it didn’t live up to the company’s claims.
As¬†Dow Jones¬†reports, Merck disputes the allegations, calling them “completely without merit.” The company also points out that the Justice Department has declined to join the whistleblower suit, which was filed two years ago, but unsealed last Thursday in a Pennsylvania federal court.
Read more:¬†Whistleblowers: Merck hid declining efficacy of MMR shot – FiercePharma¬†http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/whistleblowers-merck-hid-declining-efficacy-mmr-shot/2012-06-26#ixzz23OhyK6VG