Merck In Hot Water

August 8th, 2011

Merck and Co. Inc., America’s second largest pharmaceutical company, has received a
subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding its activity since 2004.
The investigation concerns the marketing of three viral and cancer drugs.

Merck acquired these drugs through its merger with Schering Plough in 2009. The Department of Justice is seeking information for “a federal health care investigation under criminal statutes.” Merck and Co. has stated that it will comply with the subpoena but has declined to release additional details about the investigation.

The case of Merck is one of a handful of similar incidents stemming from heightened governmental scrutiny. Last month, the drug company Cephalon paid $375 million to settle disputes about its off-label marketing of the drug Provigil. Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Gilead Sciences have also faced probes into their marketing practices in recent months.


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