Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Merck & Co., Inc.    MRK

MERCK & CO., INC.

(MRK)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener StrategiesAnalyst Recommendations

Merck & Co., Inc. : Lawsuit Claims Merck Overstated Mumps Vaccine Effectiveness

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
06/22/2012 | 01:32pm EDT
   By Jon Kamp 
 

Two former Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) employees have sued the company in federal court alleging Merck overstated the effectiveness of a mumps vaccine for which the U.S. government paid hundreds of millions of dollars.

Merck--which stressed that none of these allegations relate to the safety of its product--said the lawsuit is "completely without merit", and that it plans to "vigorously defend itself." The Whitehouse Station, N.J., drug maker also noted that the U.S. Department of Justice has thus far declined to participate in the case after its own two-year probe.

Mumps is a contagious disease that causes symptoms like fever, headache and swollen salivary glands. It was a common illness for kids and young adults before childhood vaccinations became common decades ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although there were outbreaks in 2006 and 2009. The agency says vaccines are the best way to prevent mumps.

Merck introduced the first vaccine 45 years ago, and since the 1970s it's been part of a combination product that also immunizes children against rubella and measles. According to the lawsuit--filed by former Merck virologists Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski--the company allegedly defrauded the U.S. for more than a decade by hiding the fact the vaccine had become less effective.

As a result, the former employees say the government has long paid for a product that doesn't live up to Merck's claims. The lawsuit seeks a judgment against Merck equal to three times the damages suffered by the U.S., plus the maximum allowable award for the former employees under federal whistleblower laws.

The suit was first filed in 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It was unsealed Thursday after the government declined to get involved in the case.

Merck confirmed Krahling and Wlochowski were former employees, but it said they haven't worked at the company for a decade.

"It's important to understand that none of the allegations in the complaint relate to the safety of M-M-R II"--the vaccine in question--"and we remain confident that M-M-R II helps protect against measles, mumps and rubella as described in the labeling for the vaccine," Merck said in a statement.

"M-M-R II continues to be recommended for routine administration to children by public health authorities around the world, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," the company said.

Merck doesn't specifically break out sales for the vaccine, but the company reported combined U.S. sales of $1.1 billion last year for that product and two other childhood vaccines. Merck shares recently traded up 1.9% to $40.19 and have risen 6.6% this year.

Write to Jon Kamp at jon.kamp@dowjones.com

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on MERCK & CO., INC.
12:17pMERCK & CO., INC. : Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders (form 8-..
AQ
05/28MERCK : KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) plus LENVIMA® (lenvatinib) Combination Demonst..
BU
05/28MERCK : KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Superior to Standard of Care Chemotherapy in P..
BU
05/27BlackRock votes to split CEO, chairman roles at Exxon Mobil
RE
05/27Moderna rally loses steam over COVID-19 vaccine worries
RE
05/27Geopolitical Power Play Over Coronavirus Vaccine Leaves Drugmakers in the Mid..
DJ
05/27Merck Does Deals To Develop Vaccines -- WSJ
DJ
05/26Merck Does Deals to Develop Coronavirus Vaccines, Drug -- Update
DJ
05/26Novavax, Merck rise; Regeneron, Anaplan fall
AQ
05/26Merck to buy Austrian vaccine maker as it jumps into COVID-19 race
RE
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 47 328 M - -
Net income 2020 11 135 M - -
Net Debt 2020 13 943 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 18,4x
Yield 2020 2,96%
Capitalization 204 B 204 B -
EV / Sales 2019
EV / Sales 2020 4,60x
Nbr of Employees 71 000
Free-Float 70,5%
Chart MERCK & CO., INC.
Duration : Period :
Merck & Co., Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends MERCK & CO., INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralNeutralNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 20
Average target price 93,42 $
Last Close Price 80,72 $
Spread / Highest target 32,6%
Spread / Average Target 15,7%
Spread / Lowest Target 1,59%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robert M. Davis CFO & Executive Vice President-Global Services
Sandy Tremps Vice President-R&D IT CIO
Thomas Henry Glocer Independent Director
Rochelle B. Lazarus Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
MERCK & CO., INC.-11.25%199 505
JOHNSON & JOHNSON1.97%387 206
ROCHE HOLDING AG8.68%301 088
PFIZER, INC.-2.53%212 084
NOVARTIS AG-9.27%190 322
ABBVIE INC.1.68%158 664