RICO Claim Filed Over Cholesterol Drugs

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A federal RICO complaint claims that Merck and Schering-Plough pushed the expensive cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin with deceptive claims that they are better than the “much less expensive and equally effective generic drug simvastatin.”

     “For more than a year, Defendants have known (but have failed to make public) that their own study shows that Zetia does not reduce the fatty arterial plaques that can cause heart attack and stroke,” claims the plaintiff, the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund. “Despite this knowledge, Defendants have touted the Zetia ‘difference,’ claiming that it would reduce arterial plaque. Defendants’ failure to reveal that Zetia does not in fact reduce arterial plaque constitutes a deceptive practice employed by Defendants to cause physicians to prescribe, and patients to take, Vytorin or Zetia instead of the much less expensive and equally effective generic drug simvastatin.”
     Plaintiff seeks an injunction and treble damages for unfair trade and unjust enrichment. It is represented by Stephen Corr with Mellon, Webster & Shelly or Doylestown, Pa.

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