Merck & Co. to settle lawsuits for cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia

4:43 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J (WUSA) -- Merck & Co., will pay $688 million to settle two lawsuits.

Shareholders say the pharmaceutical company failed to release information about its popular cholesterol drugs, misleading consumers and investors.

Merck and its partner at the time, Schering-Plough, marketed two cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, as being more effective than they actually were.

In early 2008, the company finally released study results.  The results proved that Vytorin and Zetia were just as beneficial as the inexpensive generic pill, Zocor. 

Thus Merck stock fell - hurting investors.

AP reports, "Merck, which is based in Whitehouse, N.J., says it agreed to the settlement because it's in the best interest of the company and current shareholders."

Although Merck has agreed to pay the $688 million, the company believes it shouldn't be held accountable.