Vytorin Marketing Lawsuit

alleged false claims in marketing campaign.

Vytorin Fraudulent Marketing

The makers of the cholesterol drug Vytorin are under fire for allegedly making false claims in their marketing campaign. New York Attorney-General Andrew Cuomo is investigating whether Vytorinís marketing campaign violated the stateís laws regarding false advertising.

VytorinSpecifically, officials are concerned that, despite results from a study that found Vytorin was no more effective than generic drugs, which are cheaper than Vytorin, Merck and Schering-Plough continued to run an ad campaign claiming that Vytorin was a better product. According to the commercials, Vytorin is effective at treating high cholesterol that is caused both by heredity and diet. The commercials for Vytorin were pulled from the airwaves on January 22, 2008.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), says that his staff polled pharmacies in cities throughout New York and found that people were paying much more for Vytorin (sometimes over $100 for 30 pills) than for similar generic drugs, which are reportedly just as effective as Vytorin.

(Vytorin, which has been on the market since 2004, is a combination of two drugs ó one of the early statin medications, simvastatin (also known as Zocor), made by Merck, and ezetimibe, or Zetia, made by Schering-Plough.)

Cuomo is also investigating claims that the companies did not publicly disclose negative findings about Vytorin while still advertising it as a highly effective drug.

Merck and Shering-Plough were already under fire because the results of the ENHANCE study, which was completed in 2006, were not released until 21 months after the study was completed. Even then, the results were only released after investigators wrote to the companies demanding an explanation for the delay.

On January 14, 2008, the makers announced that, although Vytorin reduced levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), in a group of 750 patients, the medication had little effect on the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which often leads to heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, results from the study showed that Vytorin may even have adverse health consequences in the form of increased plaque buildup in the neck arteries.

Patients who used Vytorin, believing it was a superior way to treat high cholesterol, are now investigating the possibility of lawsuits against Merck and Schering-Plough.

Merck has previously been sued for concealing and misrepresenting the risks associated with Vioxx.

Vytorin False Advertising Articles

Vytorin: Good for Absolutely Nothing
"My doctor had me on Zetia and Zocor then I switched to Vytorin when it came on the market," says Jeffrey Aaronson. "Every month I spent $200 on this drug and all I got were nasty side effects." He also got two more heart attacks. Aaronson believes that he was duped into taking Vytorin because of the company's fraudulent marketing, even after it knew that Vytorin (and Zocor) had no effect in preventing plaque buildup in the arteries.

Patients Duped by Fraudulent Marketing of Vytorin
"Vytorin should be accused of fraudulent marketing just on the price alone," says Garry Jones. "And it was marketed as something that it did not do and because of this, I suffered a heart attack."

Vytorin Makers in Marketing Mess
On February 15, 2008 a House Committee suggested that Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp., the manufacturers of Vytorin, were aware of the negative ENHANCE study results nine months before it was made public, yet the giant drug companies continued to market the popular heart drug/ cholesterol medicine. According to the study, Vytorin had little effect on the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. In so doing, the drug companies have allegedly committed fraudulent marketing and endangered people's lives.

Vytorin doing more Harm than Good
Vytorin: Not even doing half its Claim

Vytorin False Advertising In the News

FEB-21-08: Due to recent information, Vytorin's share of prescriptions has fallen almost three percent in the last month. [STAR LEDGER: VYTORIN]

JAN-29-08: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced that his state is investigating Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp.'s behavior relating to the marketing of Vytorin, adding to the list of government entities interested in the topic. [WALL STREET JOURNAL: VYTORIN MARKETING]

JAN-28-08: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has launched an investigation, brought under New Yorkís False Claims Act and consumer protection laws, focusing on the aggressive marketing of Vytorin to unsuspecting patients and doctors. [GAZETTE: VYTORIN MARKETING]

JAN-24-08: A lawsuit has been filed in Florida court alleging violations of state consumer protection statutes, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages from Merck and Schering-Plough for their marketing and sale of Vytorin and Zetia. [CNN MONEY: VYTORIN MARKETING]

Vytorin False Advertising Legal Help

If you or a loved one have used Vytorin over a generic drug because of Vytorin advertising claims, please click the link below to send your complaint to a lawyer to evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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