[UPDATED — 07.29.08 4 PM EDT: Ed, over at Pharmalot, has featured this post! Cool!
11 PM EDT: Dr. Peter Rost has also linked, and featured the graphics from this one. Perfect! Thanks!
Later, Still: The Insider, across the pond, at PharmaGossip has linked this one, as well! Geez — I guess that’s a trifecta, of sorts!
07.31.08 AM— Chris Truelove, at the Pharma Blog Review has run a teaser on this story, at the end of his, this week. Cool.
07.31.08 PM— Adventures in Autism has captioned her link, to mine the “Merck Mafia(!?)” — Ouch!]
The county government of Suffolk County, New York has filed a new civil suit against Schering-Plough (and the Joint Venture, and Merck, among others), overnight, in the federal district courts sitting in Newark, New Jersey. It makes some Consumer Protection Act/False Advertising allegations, but it also takes important new strides in alleging RICO pattern activity — calling Schering’s and Merck’s conduct here “indictable“.
“Now, that’s gonna’ leave a mark!” Take a look — click to enlarge — see the yellow bubble, and the red underlining, here on page 25 of the complaint:
Suffolk County, New York — a governmental entity, now — is alleging that Schering has engaged in what it sees as indictable predicate acts, under the RICO statutes.
There are already other RICO putative class action cases pending against Schering-Plough and Merck, but this is quite significant, in my experienced-estimation — as at a minimum, it represents a new level of gravitas in the ENHANCE litigation malestrom now beseiging Schering-Plough and its executive leadership: a local-governmental agency is now effectively swearing that Schering has committed “RICO-indictable pattern racketeering” — in (allegedly) concealing the ENHANCE results for almost two years — while the good people of Suffolk County, New York were forced to pay greatly-inflated prices for a drug that was no more effective than those much cheaper statins.
For those keeping score at home, the suit is captioned Suffolk County, NY v. Merck Schering-Plough, et al., (Case No. 08-3711, Complaint filed July 28, 2008, DCM-MF, U.S. Dist. Ct., NJ).
I’ll keep an eye on this one, for the readership. You may count on it.