SRKW has been appointed as co-lead counsel for a class of physicians and direct purchasers claiming that Merck is misrepresenting the effectiveness of its mumps vaccine. The case alleges that Merck knew through internal testing that its mumps vaccine (part of its widely used MMR vaccine) was far less effective than the 95% efficacy Merck has repeatedly stated. Based partly on allegations from Merck insiders, the complaint alleges that Merck manipulated test results in its 40 year-old mumps vaccine to discourage competitors from entering the market with more effective vaccines. Recent outbreaks of mumps in the U.S. among vaccinated populations indicate that the Merck vaccine is not completely effective.
The lawsuit alleges that had customers known of the true effectiveness of the mumps vaccine, they would have paid far less then Merck was charging. Since Merck sells over 7.6 million MMR vaccine doses per year, and is currently the only MMR vaccine supplier in the U.S., the impact of Merck's fraud is substantial and likely runs to billions of dollars.
The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal antitrust laws, state consumer protection statutes and state breach of contract and unjust enrichment laws. The case is pending before Judge Darnell Jones in Federal Court in Philadelphia. A copy of the Complaint can be found here. For further information contact SRKW partners Jeff Kodroff or John Macoretta.