Drug Makers Agree to Pay $5.4 Million for a Cholesterol Drug Cover-Up
Drug makers, Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corporation, agreed yesterday to pay $5.4 million to settle civil claims that the companies covered up test results that cast doubt on the effectiveness of their two blockbuster cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia.
In 2006 a series of studies were done by the two companies that revealed Vytorin and Zetia were less effective in reducing plaque build-up. However, the companies failed to release their findings immediately, which consequently resulted in criticism from several attorney generals.
The companies settled with attorney generals from 35 states, including the District of Columbia and Wisconsin. Merck Co. and Schering- Plough both agreed to pay back the costs of the investigation, but they do not have to make other payments or admit liability.