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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Overstated Mumps Vaccine Effectiveness?


6/26/2012 6:59:55 AM

Two former Merck virologists are charging in a whistleblower lawsuit that the drugmaker used improper testing techniques and falsified test data, among other things, to fraudulently overstate the effectiveness of its mumps vaccines for which the federal government has paid hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, the former Merck employees also maintain that mumps outbreaks continue to occur. Merck obtained its original, exclusive license for a mumps vaccine in 1967 and, at the time, stated that effectiveness was 95 percent, which meant that at least 95 percent of those innoculated were considered immunized from the disease, according to the lawsuit. However, new efficacy testing began in the late 1990s as part of an effort to win licensing for a second-generation measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR-II.

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