The Feds Subpoena Merck Over Its Marketing

The Feds Subpoena Merck Over Its Marketing

August 9th, 2011 // 1:07 pm @

Merck has received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice as part of a criminal investigation into the marketing of various drugs. The feds want info about marketing and selling these drugs – Temodar, which treats brain tumors; the PegIntron hepatitis C treatment; and Intron A, which treats certain cancers – from 2004 through the present.

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The subpoena was disclosed this morning in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in which Merck reported results for the second fiscal quarter. The drugmaker noted the subpoena was issued in connection with an investigation criminal statutes . During most of that five-year period, by the way, the drugs were marketed by Schering-Plough, which Merck acquired in 2009.

A Merck spokesman tells us the drugmaker is cooperating, but declined to comment otherwise. Last fall, Merck reserved $950 million for an impending settlement of a federal probe into its research, marketing and selling practice for the the Vioxx painkiller that was withdrawn in 2004 after links to heart attacks and strokes.

Separately, Merck also disclosed that the Justice Department and US Environmental Protection Agency are pursuing civil penalties of more than $2 million for allegedly violating environmental regulations at its West Point, Pa., and Riverside, Pa., facilities. The action results from an EPA inspection of the sites in 2006.

Finally, Merck agreed to pay a $260,000 fine and sign a consent decree to resolve alleged environmental violations at its Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, facility, in connection with an EPA inspection in 2008. The allegations were related to a program to detect and repair leaks.

Source: Pharmalot

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