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Merck 93 articles

Four Dangerous Diabetes Drugs


Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic around the world with an estimated one in 10 adults predicted to be suffering from the disease by 2030, according to the International Diabetes Foundation. Diabetes increases the risk for serious health complications including heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, blindness, dementia and amputations from neuropathy. Many diabetics require medication to help control blood sugar levels. There are dozens of diabetes treatments on the market and more being developed. But these drugs come at a risk. Here are five type 2 diabetes drugs that carry dangerous side effects: Invokana/Invokamet – Known chemically as canagliflozin, Invokana ... Read More

Whistleblowers accuse Merck of withholding, distorting mumps vaccine data


Two former Merck virologists who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company alleging it falsified data so the U.S. government would buy its mumps vaccine are now also accusing the drug giant of dodging questions about the vaccine’s effectiveness. In a June 1 letter, Stephen A. Krahling and Joan A. Wlochowski, who filed the whistleblower suit against Merck & Co. under the federal False Claims Act, asked Pennsylvania federal judge Lynne A. Sitarski to force Merck to answer questions about the effectiveness of its mumps vaccine, saying the company is “hiding behind a facade of confusion and obfuscation” on ... Read More

Novartis settles lawsuit claiming osteoporosis drug caused jawbone decay


A lawsuit against the makers of the osteoporosis drug Zometa claiming the medication caused serious jawbone decay has been settled, just as a state appeals court was scheduled to rule whether to affirm or reverse the no-cause verdict won previously by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., against the plaintiff. The terms of the agreement will not be disclosed. The lawsuit, filed by plaintiff Beverly Meng, was only the second to go to trial in New Jersey. Another 119 lawsuits in New Jersey name Novartis’ Zometa or the company’s other bone loss drug Aredia claiming jawbone injury are yet to be heard. The ... Read More

Lawsuits claim type 2 diabetes drugs caused pancreatic cancer

januvia - sitagliptin

Ann Falcone of Staten Island, NY is suing two different drug companies alleging their type 2 diabetes treatments caused her to develop pancreatic cancer. Falcone claims she began taking Januvia (sitagliptin) in July 2009 to help control her blood sugar levels. Januvia is a oral antihyperglycemic drug known as a dipeptiidyl peptidase-4, or DPP-4, inhibitor. In May 2011, her doctor also prescribed Victoza (liraglutide), an injectable long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist, or GLP-1 agonist. Both drugs are in a class of type 2 diabetes medications known as incretin mimetics. But a year after starting Victoza, Falcone was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It ... Read More

Merck company Organon to pay several states $31 million to settle Medicaid fraud allegations


Following an investigation into possible Medicaid fraud, Drug maker Organon USA Inc., a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck, has agreed to pay $31 million to settle allegations by several U.S. states that it overcharged their Medicaid programs for the anti-depressant Remeron and Remeron SolTab. The states claimed that Organon encouraged pharmacies to offer Remeron to their nursing home clients by providing the drug at a discount, which gave Organon a competitive edge against other drug manufacturers. Organon then reported the drug’s full cost when it sought reimbursements from the Medicaid programs in multiple states, the plaintiffs alleged. Washington D.C. and ... Read More

Merck’s once-weekly diabetes drug as effective as Januvia

januvia - sitagliptin

Merck’s new, once-weekly experimental type 2 diabetes treatment was found in recent clinical trials to have a similar safety and efficacy profile compared to Merck’s sitagliptin, marketed under the brand name Januvia. The study involving the new omarigliptin randomly assigned participants with type 2 diabetes into one of three groups – once-weekly omarigliptin 25 mg; once-daily Januvia 50 mg; or placebo. A mixed-meal tolerance test was performed the day before the study drugs were administered and again at 24 weeks, 1 day after the last dose of Januvia, or 7 days after the last dose of omargliptin. Researchers found that ... Read More

British Columbia refuses to cover some type 2 diabetes drugs


The British Columbia Medical Beneficiary and Pharmaceutical Services Division has delisted all sitagliptin drugs, including Januvia and Janumet, from its Pharmacare Benefits Program and will adjust its coverage of all other diabetes drugs in the class by February 2015. The agencies gave no reason for this action but experts speculate that it may be because sitagliptin has been linked to serious pancreatic side effects. Merck, maker of Januvia and Janumet, is fighting the action, saying the move limits therapeutic options for patients. Januvia works by enhancing the body’s own ability to control blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production when ... Read More

Merck reaches $100 million settlement in NuvaRing side effects lawsuits

NuvaRing - WIKI

A $100 million settlement involving life threatening side effects from Merck’s NuvaRing birth control device will stand now that a vast majority of claimants have agreed to the terms of the settlement. The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel of St. Louis in February; however, Merck had the opportunity to abandon the deal if it did not get at least 95 percent of the claimants to sign off on the terms. About 3,800 people will share in the settlement. NuvaRing was approved as a contraceptive device in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It ... Read More

FDA panel votes against approval of Singulair Allergy for OTC use


A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel is recommending that the agency not approve Merck’s Singulair Allergy drug for over-the-counter treatment for allergic rhinitis because of safety concerns. Singulair, which contains the active ingredient montelukast, was approved in 1998 for the treatment of asthma in both children and adults. In 2002 and 2005, the indication was expanded to include the treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis and perennial allergic rhinitis, respectively. In 2007, it was approved for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Merck was seeking OTC approval of Singulair Allergy for the treatment of allergy symptoms only in adults 18 years and older, ... Read More

FDA panel recommends approval of new blood thinner despite serious side effects

blood cells

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel stunned analysts last week by voting to recommend the approval of an experimental new blood thinner from Merck despite concerns about serious side effects such as internal bleeding. The drug, vorapaxar, is designed to help prevent blood clots in patients with a history of heart attacks. Clinical trials on the drug were hit with rough patches. One large study was shut down and enrollment of another halted after data showed a significant increased risk of internal bleeding, including dangerous bleeding inside the skull. However, when the drug was used in patients who had ... Read More