Merck & Co., Schering-Plough to resolve Vytorin, Zetia civil class action lawsuits

Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough agreed to pay $41.5 million to settle pending civil class action litigation related to Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe) in the US, the companies announced Wednesday. The agreements were reached with plaintiffs seeking to represent certain consumer groups, insurers and other entities, as well as with a separate group of independently represented health plans, that either paid for or used the cholesterol drugs.

Merck and Schering-Plough noted that the agreements "are not an admission of misconduct or liability in connection with the marketing or sale of Vytorin or Zetia," or with plaintiffs' allegations about the safety and effectiveness of the treatments based on data from the ENHANCE trial.

The settlement will resolve all class action lawsuits seeking economic damages related to the purchase of Vytorin and Zetia, of which there were more than 140 pending in a US district court, the drugmakers stated. The companies' cholesterol drug joint venture booked the charges during the second quarter of this year.

Last month, Merck and Schering-Plough agreed to pay $5.4 million to settle civil claims that the companies allegedly violated state consumer protection laws in connection with the promotion of Vytorin and Zetia.

To read more Top Story articles, click here.