Posts tagged Merck
PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Merck has known for a decade that its mumps vaccine is “far less effective” than it tells the government, and it falsified test results and sold millions of doses of “questionable efficacy,” flooding and monopolizing the market, a primary caregiver claims in a federal antitrust class action.
Alabama-based Chatom Primary Care sued Merck on Monday, the week after the unsealing of a False Claims Act complaint two relators filed in 2010.
Those relators, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, were Merck virologists who claim in their unsealed complaint that they “witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine’s efficacy findings.”
Krahling and Wlochowski claimed Merck’s scheme caused the United States to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization.”
“As the largest single purchaser of childhood vaccines (accounting for more than 50 percent of all vaccine purchases), the United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck’s fraud,” according to the 2010 False Claims Act complaint. “But the ultimate victims here are the millions of children who every year are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection. And while this is a disease that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (‘CDC’), was supposed to be eradicated by now, the failure in Merck’s vaccine has allowed this disease to linger, with significant outbreaks continuing to occur.”
The United States told a federal judge in April that it did not want to intervenein the False Claims case, but reserved the right to do so later.
Chatom says in its antitrust complaint that Merck falsely claims its mumps vaccine is 95 percent effective.
That claim “deterred and excluded competing manufacturers,” who would enter the risky and expensive vaccine market only if they believed they could craft a better product, Chatom says in its complaint.
Merck is the only manufacturer licensed by the FDA to sell the mumps vaccine in United States, and if it could not show that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, it risked losing its lucrative monopoly, according to the complaint.
That’s why Merck found it critically important to keep claiming such a high efficacy rate, the complaint states.