Still Not Material: Merck Halts Zilmax® Sales In US; Canada

I just wanted to update this item, since all outlets, from Reuters to Bloomberg are reporting it.

It is — and remains — immaterial to overall Merck.

That’s definitive — even so, it’s not good news. Here’s the Bloomberg version:

. . . .Merck & Co., which sells veterinary and farm products in more than 140 countries, will suspend sales of its livestock-feed supplement Zilmax in the U.S. and Canada after cattle taking it had trouble walking or standing.

The sales halt is temporary while the company plans a study of the drug, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck said in a statement today. . . .

Merck is taking the action after Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN), the Springdale, Arkansas-based beef, poultry and pork producer, said on Aug. 8 that it was halting its use of Zilmax because of lame livestock found at its factories. Merck’s animal health business brought in $3.39 billion last year.

“This important step demonstrates our commitment to providing our industry partners with data that will reaffirm confidence in Zilmax,” said KJ Varma, senior vice president global R&D of the animal-health unit. “We sincerely regret that this situation creates business challenges for our customers but it is critical to ensure that this process is conducted appropriately and with rigorous scientific measures. . . .”

Of course, we will keep an eye on this.

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