PHARMA: Talking of gotcha’s…

Schering Plough is coming under multo criticism the last two days for sitting on data for up to a year that shows that the anti-cholesterol drug Zetia, when combined with Merk’s Zocor in the combo drug Vytorin, not only didn’t work but may have caused harm. Here’s the story in the NY Times and here’s the op-ed in the same paper saying:

It was still very disturbing to learn this week that a heavily promoted cholesterol-lowering drug had flunked a clinical trial of its effectiveness in reducing fatty deposits in arteries. The two companies that reap billions from the drug had been cynically sitting on the results for more than a year.

But trust Peter Rost to find the wrinkle—Schering-Plough’s President dumped $28 million in stock before Vytorin controversy erupted. 

So where is the SEC investigation (and for that matter, what about their investigation into similar activity at Wellcare)?

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DanGregory D. Pawelskitom s. Recent comment authors
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A Failed Attempt to Improve Misperceived Greatness While it seems that sponsors of clinical trials usually end up with results that clearly favor their meds studied in thier trial, there are rare exceptions, and Merck and Schering proved that with their disappointing ENHANCE Trial, which many have heard about through the media not long ago. The drug studied was Vytorin, comparing it with Zocor Vytorin is a combination med for high cholesterol and contains Merck’s Zocor, which is now generic, and Schering’s Zetia, which works differently than Zocor, which is one of many statin drugs. Both Vytorin and Zetia are… Read more »

Gregory D. Pawelski
Gregory D. Pawelski

Merck is implicated again in data cover-up of data that reflects negatively on one of its major new drug initiatives. Their recent Vioxx scandal is well documented. Expecting this scandal coming so soon after Vioxx may have lasting implications. Merck/Schering promoting (very aggressively) a drug for which their best data couldn’t show therapeutic value. I certainly hope this would lead to more critical thinking by doctors who rely on drug reps and pharma-paid “educational” outings to Las Vegas and Disneyworld for information. I hope more doctors will be embarrassed by these incidents into doing more “independent” research. But, there will… Read more »

tom s.
tom s.

Agree – put the SP President behind bars. But you must admit, those Vytorin commercials were good. Funny, I didn’t see the Vytorin commercials on last nite’s evening news. I bet we won’t see them again.