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Thread: Lawsuit Claims Merck Overstated Mumps Vaccine Effectiveness

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Really? We're talking millions and millions of dollars. They've been known to be pretty motivating. And do we know the terms of these two former employees departure?
    Again, fair enough. But I would say that maintaining a monopoly on a vaccine worth billions is pretty motivating as well, no? If the employees motivation was a get-rich scheme, one would think that there was at least something that they felt would help that cause going forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Yes, mistakes were made with Vioxx. Big mistakes. And as tragic as those mistakes' results were, equally as tragic is that doctors no longer have access to what was a life-changing (saving) drugs for many. It obviously provided much risk, but also far more reward. I encourage you to speak to cardiologists who prescribed this drug. You'll be hard pressed to find one that doesn't regret it being gone. I've known some to go so far as to call it a "miracle". The reality is the agency should probably allow more of these high risk drugs, provided doctors and patients understand them. The benefits would be enormous to public health overall.

    Again, I encourage you to speak to any long-time employee of Schering Plough and ask them how the consent decree affected their every day jobs and the fundamental structure of their business.
    Asking a practicing doctor anything current is largely a waste of time as their answer will be mostly dogmatic or spewed forth from whatever journal they subscribe to monthly. The reason for that is that doctors are just too busy nowadays doctoring to read PubMed studies to really make informed commentary. It's just more time-effective to trust what the AAP, AMA or Lancet is saying.

    A perfect example of this is the autism-vaccine debate. Ask almost any doctor and they will say the same thing; vaccines don't cause autism. That's dogmatic. There have been only studies done on MMR and thimerosal. There are no studies on HiB, HepB, DTaP and the rest, to say nothing about the schedule as a whole. No real studies done on any other adjuvants either. And even the thimerosal thing has gained new legs as a large basis for many of the studies had supporting data from the flawed study of the Danish scientist that absconded with millions in CDC grant money. Heck, at least Wakefield only paid his participants $5 for their blood samples!! Point is, do you really think your average doc knows that stuff? No, they don't. So they just go right along and say the company line; vaccines don't cause autism. As a scientist, I would guess that pisses you off, right?

    I'd have no problem with there being more access to high-risk drugs, provided full access to trials (internal as well as FDA sanctioned) was available AND that the companies were not exempt from litigation. Neither is the case for vaccines.

    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    No, you must have missed the point. The small portion of their business that produces relatively small revenue, is their biggest risk. Litigation is not and never will be as impactful on a single vaccine or drug as the loss of public trust over your entire portfolio. Sales drive these companies and if you can't prove to your patients that one product is safe, they aren't going to buy any of them.
    A multi-billion dollar per year product that is government mandated in perpetuity and completely insulated from liability is pretty good work if you can get it. The playing field isn't level, that's the point. The very existence of the VICP flies in the face of your argument. It was created because these companies were being sued out of existence for a shoddy product, their vaccines. Polio was the precursor, but pertussis was what really got the whole thing passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Again, how is pharma different than any other industry. Of course they exist for profits. All companies do. But guess what the happy byproduct of profits of a pharma are? Health. The safer and healthier your patients are, the more money you make. It's pretty simple.
    That's not entirely true. The argument can be made that the sicker you are, the more money you'll spend. If something isn't working, there are plenty of suitors available with another product for you to try. R&D will have a field day with trying to come up with something new, with a patent of exclusivity for years to come if it's successful. So, let's not make this business model out as some shiny-happy public health initiative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    Merck's MMR and MMRV have not been "proven" to be "crappy"-their competitors products were (they caused aseptic meningitis and other serious health issues)
    Furthermore, they never contained Thimoseral.
    I'm familiar with the Urabe strain. I'm also familiar with the belief that the MMRII mumps portion was never really considered as effective as originally reported. I'm sure that the fact the strain was from a Merck scientist's kid never figured into that.

    I know that, it's an attenuated live virus vaccine. Thimerosal isn't the end-all and be-all of adjuvants. Read up on the damage it can cause when coupled with, say, aluminum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    Between compliance laws and various consent decrees - CIAs are binding and last for years - pharma firms do not operate without scrutiny or penalty. Novartis paid a $185M fine and total $422M penalty because some of their gravy sucking pigs aka sales reps got caught promoting Trileptal off-label. Their drugs are efficacious but don't lack risks. The tradeoff is longer/better life.
    The topic is about a vaccine. Pharma firms operate without threat of scrutiny or penalty on the local, state and federal level when it comes to vaccines. They are 100% exempt. Completely, free & clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    What we know is that they had already been fired or left and filed a suit that gives them 25% of whatever they can prove the government is entitled to recover. That doesn't scream "credible" to me
    But protecting a multi-billion dollar market on a vaccine screams credibility though?
    Last edited by Jetworks; 06-26-2012 at 11:22 AM.


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