If you or someone you know were prescribed the high cholesterol drugs Zetia or Vytorin and paid full price or a co-pay, you may be eligible for a refund as part of a recent class-action lawsuit. Manufacturers Merck and Schering-Plough are accused of violating consumer protection laws. While both drugs were marketed as superior to other, cheaper statins on the market, more recent studies showed that the drugs weren’t significantly more effective than the older drugs, and could have more harmful side effects.
Consumer Reports Health explains:
Vytorin has been under fire since last year, when two studies cast doubt on the benefits of the drug, which is a combination of Schering-Plough’s Zetia and Merck’s Zocor. The first was a 2-year study that showed Vytorin was no better than Zocor alone in reducing plaque build-up in arteries. The second was a five year study that showed Vytorin did not reduce strokes or heart attacks compared to placebo, and more alarmingly was associated with a higher incidence of cancer and death from cancer. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration said in a controversial decision that people should continue to take Vytorin because it lowers LDL or “bad” cholesterol more than Zocor alone.
The proposed settlement will distribute $12.45 million to consumers who purchased the drug, and $29.05 million to insurance companies.
Vytorin/Zetia Settlement Information Website [Official Site]
Consumers who took Zetia or Vytorin may get refund [Consumer Reports Health]