Merck Virologists Claim Merck Lied About Mumps Vax Efficacy, Trial Moves Forward

Sept. 9, 2014

As reported by Law360, two lawsuits accusing Merck & Co. Inc. of lying about the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in order to quell competition will move forward, after a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled that the whistleblowers had sufficiently pled that Merck might have provided false statements to the government.

Merck, the only pharmaceutical company in the U.S. licensed to produce a mumps vaccine, has long claimed that the vaccine is 95 percent effective in preventing the disease.

The whistleblowers, two former Merck virologists, claimed that after internal tests showed the vaccines falling below the 95 percent threshold, Merck changed its methodology and falsified results but continued reporting a 95 percent efficacy to the FDA.

Additionally, the lawsuit states that because Merck was representing its vaccine as both safe and 95 percent effective, potential competitors deemed it "economically irrational" to bring a new Mumps vaccine into the market.

Read the Law360 article (registration required)