This past July, the leading drug investigator hired by Merck, Dr. John J.P. Kasteline accused pharmaceutical company of deliberately delaying the release of a drug trial in order to “hide something.” Although, the company was aware nearly two (2) years ago that its leading cholesterol drug, Zetia, showed no improvement over other drugs, Merck delayed publishing these results for nearly two (2) years. During that time, Merck continued to reap billions of dollars in profits from the drug that had been proven ineffective.
The investigator, Dr. Kasteline, was privately furious with Merck for the repeated delays and even threatened to resign. Not surprisingly, Merck has denied any wrong doing. Attempts by the New York Times to reach Dr. Kasteline have been unsuccessful.
Merck is the same pharmaceutical company that brought Vioxx to the market. Vioxx was later the subject of a class action law suit when Merck revealed that its own studies showed that the pain killer doubled the risk of heart attacks. After several jury trials found the company liable (and awarded substantial damages) the company agreed to compensate people whose heart attacks were linked to the drug. Pharmaceutical and drug injury lawyers are watching this latest revelation very carefully.
If it can be shown that Merck has engaged in deceptive and fraudulent practices, it may very well be the target or additional lawsuits under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and other common law fraud claims.
Free Legal Advice: Medical Malpractice