Obama Sides With Investors in Merck Lawsuit

Smart Money

By Brent Kendall
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

October 27, 2009

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The Obama administration sided with investors Monday in a U.S. Supreme Court case that examines whether shareholders of Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) waited too long to file securities lawsuits alleging the drug maker misrepresented the safety of painkiller drug Vioxx, which it removed from the market in 2004.

U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the federal government’s lawyer at the Supreme Court, argued in a friend-of-the court brief that the lawsuits weren’t filed too late.

The brief is the latest sign that the solicitor general’s office under the Obama administration is taking a friendlier approach to investor lawsuits. In June, the office filed a legal brief supporting investors in an important high-court dispute on mutual-fund fees.

The Bush administration had sided against investors in several Supreme Court cases.

Investors are seeking billions of dollars in damages from Merck. They filed the first of several securities lawsuits against the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based drug maker in November 2003, alleging it misled them by downplaying the significance of clinical-trial results that appeared to show that patients taking Vioxx faced an increased risk of heart attack.

The investors said this alleged deception caused them to pay inflated prices for Merck’s stock.

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Comment from Leslie

All about money and not the damage done to people’s lives….these $%&* investors better get their money out of Merck before the fall of Gardasil.

Remember what HPV stands for?  Help Pay for Vioxx

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.