Merck Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charge and Pays $950 Million Fine for Vioxx

MB Comment: Merck is the company that makes Gardasil, MMR, Varivax (chickenpox) and other vaccines. Merck is the largest US vaccine manufacturer.

According to OSHA head David Michael’s excellent book Doubt is Their Product, Merck knew from their pre-release clinical studies that Vioxx had four times the risk of heart attack as the placebo they used (naproxen). They preposterously inverted that finding and spun it around to state that the placebo naproxen reduced heart attack risk by 80%. According to Michaels’ book, ‘scientists at the FDA estimate that Vioxx caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, probably 30%-40% of them fatal.’

The midpoint of that range is 40,000. So Merck (with foreknowledge) deliberately killed about 40,000 people that were simply taking a pain reliever drug (most weren’t heart patients). That is almost as many deaths as US combat casualties in the Vietnam war. That must make Merck the biggest corporate mass-murderer in history. Where is the outrage? The public remains ignorant of Merck’s crime.

Take a close look at that deadly card trick with placebos. Merck and other vaccine manufacturers use a similar strategy with vaccine trials. Vaccine safety studies use other vaccines or aluminum adjuvants for placebos, not something neutral like saline solution. Vaccines and aluminum adjuvants cause neurological adverse reactions. If their new vaccine being tested causes the same amount of neurological reactions as an old vaccine or aluminum placebo, they call it ‘safe.’

In my opinion, Merck is following a Vioxx-style business strategy with Gardasil and other vaccines. They couldn’t care less how many people die or get permanently disabled from their pharmaceutical products. With drugs, multi-billion dollar settlements like this are built into the business plan. With vaccines Merck has zero liability because they are shielded by the sham US national vaccine injury compensation program.

People should wake up to the risk of prescription drugs and vaccines. Personally, I would boycott all Merck products because they are clearly an unethical company with zero integrity. If you don’t believe me, read David Michaels’ book Doubt is Their Product. David Michaels is an epidemiologist and is the US Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA).

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Merck to Pay $950 Million to Settle Government’s Vioxx Probe

Bloomberg Nov 22, 2011

By Jef Feeley, David Voreacos and Seth Stern

Merck & Co. (MRK), the second-largest U.S. drugmaker, will pay $950 million and a unit of the company will plead guilty to a criminal charge to resolve a federal probe of its sales of the painkiller Vioxx, the U.S. said.

Merck, Sharp & Dohme will plead guilty to a single violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a misdemeanor, the U.S. Justice Department said today in a statement. The company will pay a $321.6 million criminal fine and $628.3 million for a civil settlement of allegations regarding so-called off-label marketing of the drug.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999, Vioxx became Merck’s third largest-selling drug by 2003, generating $2.5 billion in annual sales. Merck, which pulled Vioxx off the market in 2004 after a study found it posed an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, set aside $950 million in October 2010 to deal with the consequences from the criminal investigation.

The company, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, already has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle thousands of patient lawsuits claiming injuries, along with $1.9 billion for legal costs in defending and resolving the cases. The shares fell 32 cents to $33.82 at 2:58 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The criminal plea stems from the misbranding of Vioxx for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis before regulators had approved that use, the U.S. said. The civil settlement covers inaccurate or misleading statements made by Merck about the cardiovascular safety of the drug.

Read the Article

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2 Responses to Merck Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charge and Pays $950 Million Fine for Vioxx

  1. Be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes.
    Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger.
    The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.
    This was Lilly’s #1 product $5 billion per year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions more on drugs that treat diabetes.
    — Daniel Haszard Zyprexa victim activist and patient.
    FMI zyprexa-victims(dot)com

  2. tal says:

    This is the ‘Pinto defense’ which is “an economically efficient method which has been accepted by courts for numerous years”.

    http://www.wfu.edu/~palmitar/Law&Valuation/Papers/1999/Leggett-pinto.html

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