Merck is a global pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. The company was founded in 1891 and operates globally over five divisions: animal health, vaccines, human medicine, consumer healthcare products and crop science research centers.
The “lawsuit against merck shingles vaccine” is a lawsuit filed by Merck. The lawsuit claims that the company failed to disclose that there was a risk of developing shingles.
(This page was last updated on August 13, 2018)
Merck & Co. is facing an increasing number of lawsuits in Philadelphia over its popular shingles vaccine, Zostavax, which plaintiffs claim may cause significant adverse effects such as blindness, paralysis, brain damage, and even death. Meanwhile, Merck stands behind Zostavax’s “demonstrated safety and effectiveness.”
Zostavax, according to the plaintiffs, may cause blindness, paralysis, and even death.
Zostavax was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 to lower the risk of shingles. Merck claims it has been given out more than 36 million times since then.
Thousands of complaints are expected from individuals who have had severe side effects not indicated on Zostavax’s warning label, according to lawyers. Merck’s history of resolving similar claims for millions, if not billions of dollars, may give these plaintiffs hope.
Whether you or a loved one had the Zostavax vaccination and suffered serious side effects including blindness, paralysis, brain damage, autoimmune disease, or death, please contact us to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
In 2016, Zostavax sales were over $700 million.
Zostavax is a stronger version of Merck’s Varivax chickenpox vaccine. It is said to lessen the chance of acquiring shingles by around half.
Zostavax was licensed by the FDA in 2006, and it has since become one of Merck’s best-selling vaccines, with sales ranging from $685 to $749 million in 2016. (The figures differ depending on the source.) It was the only shingles vaccine on the market at the time, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended it for adults aged 60 and over.
However, since Zostavax’s patent protection in the United States just expired, the market will soon become much more competitive, especially now that GSK’s Shingrix has entered the fray.
Merck claims that the vaccine has been given more than 36 million times in more than 50 countries, which it believes to be proof of its safety. Merck gave the following statement in response to the lawsuits:
Merck values the safety of its medicines and vaccines above everything else. Merck stands by Zostavax’s proven safety and effectiveness, which has been approved in more than 50 countries.
However, considering Merck’s shady track record in these areas, one has cause to be skeptical of this claim.
Merck agreed to pay $5 billion to settle Vioxx lawsuits.
Merck & Co. is a pharmaceutical conglomerate based in the United States that was formed in 1917 by George Merck. Its sales in 2015 was $39.5 billion, making it one among the world’s most lucrative pharmaceutical businesses.
The arthritis drug Vioxx, the river blindness treatment Mectizan, the osteoporosis prescription Fosamax, and, of course, Propecia are among its most well-known products.
Merck, like many other Big Pharma corporations, has a history of dubious ethical and commercial practices, particularly in relation to Vioxx:
- Merck’s Australian affiliate paid Elsevier, a Dutch publisher, to print a “medical journal” named the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine from 2002 to 2005. The publication marketed itself as unbiased and peer-reviewed, with several articles promoting Merck pharmaceuticals.
- Merck paid over $5 billion to resolve numerous cases involving Vioxx, a medicine that was taken off the market in 2004 when it was shown to raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Merck paid $650 million to the US Justice Department in 2008 to resolve claims that company overcharged Medicaid for its medications. This was one of the most massive settlements in American history.
- Merck paid $950 million in 2011 to resolve yet another Justice Department complaint, this time for illegally promoting Vioxx.
- Merck agreed to pay $830 million to resolve a Vioxx securities class action lawsuit in 2016.
Given this tumultuous background, it’s unsurprising that Merck is now facing litigation over Zostavax, and may be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to resolve these claims.
Shingles Can Cause Serious Problems
Blindness, hearing loss, pneumonia, brain inflammation, and death are all possible complications of shingles.
Shingles (herpes zoster), which Zostavax is designed to prevent, is a rash that looks like chickenpox and appears in a stripe on one side of the face or body. Shingles is more common in those with weakened immune systems and those over the age of 50.
In addition to itching, irritation, discomfort, and scabs/blisters, shingles may cause the following adverse effects:
- stomach ache
Shingles rashes usually scab up in 7-10 days and go away in 2-4 weeks. However, the virus may cause significant consequences, such as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a pain that lasts for weeks or even months after the rash has cleaned up. People with PHN might have agony for years in rare situations. The aged and infirm are more susceptible to PHN than they are to shingles.
Eye illness including blindness, hearing issues, pneumonia, brain inflammation, and death are all possible consequences of shingles.
Because the side effects of shingles may be so severe, millions of individuals have become vaccinated against the virus. However, it seems that this safeguard might backfire disastrously.
Zostavax Side Effects Supposed
The Zostavax claims argue that some of the adverse effects are exceedingly severe, even deadly. They are as follows:
- Visual impairment (blindness/blurred vision)
- Hearing loss is a common problem.
- The extremities are paralyzed.
- Disorders of the immune system
- Damage to the brain
- Failure of the liver
If plaintiffs’ lawyers can show that their injuries were caused by the Zostavax vaccination, Merck might be held accountable for neglecting to warn patients about these dangerous side effects.
Allegations in the Zostavax Lawsuit
Jorja Bentley’s lawsuit (filed in Philadelphia) makes the following allegations:
- A flaw in the design
- Failure to provide a warning
- Breach of promises, both explicit and implicit
- Misrepresentation that is both fraudulent and negligent
- Inequitable enrichment
Medical costs, lost pay, pain and suffering, and punitive damages are all part of the case.
In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, more than 50 comparable claims were recently consolidated into a multi-district action. Please read our Zostavax lawsuit page for additional information on these allegations and to determine whether you are qualified for a lawsuit.
Obtain a No-Cost Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one took the Zostavax vaccination and suffered terrible side effects including blindness, paralysis, brain damage, or death, you should contact our legal team as soon as possible.
Our lawyers have helped our clients collect more than $5 billion in damages.
Our lawyers have helped our clients collect more than $5 billion in damages, and we are one of the few consumer protection businesses in the nation with the capacity to take on a huge corporation like Merck.
Unless we win a jury award or a settlement, there are never any fees. For a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation, contact us now.
The “gsk shingrix lawsuit” is a case filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. It alleges that Merck, Inc. and its predecessor companies engaged in fraud by deliberately concealing information about the safety and effectiveness of their Zostavax vaccine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Merck stop selling Zostavax?
A: Merck decided to stop selling Zostavax because the total vaccine market for shingles fell from $1.4 billion in 2010 to about $183 million in 2017 and projected to fall further as more people begin getting their shingles vaccines at lower ages, or through less expensive options such as generic zoster medications.
When will the Zostavax lawsuit be settled?
A: I dont know.
Why did they stop using Zostavax?
A: Zostavax is no longer used as a preventative for measles.
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