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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Merck to pay $688 million to settle Enhance lawsuits, (NYSE: MRK)

Merck & Co has agreed to pay $688 million to settle two U.S. lawsuits by shareholders who said they lost money because it concealed the poor results of a clinical trial involving the anti-cholesterol drug Vytorin.The federal lawsuits led by several pension funds alleged that Merck and Schering-Plough Corp knew more than a year in advance that the trial known as Enhance was a failure, but withheld that information from investors.Shares of Merck fell nearly 15 percent and Schering fell nearly 21 percent on March 31, 2008, the first trading day after full results of the trial were released at the American Conference of Cardiology in Chicago. The companies merged in November 2009.Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Labaton Sucharow, law firms representing some of the plaintiffs, said the combined settlements are among the 10 largest in a securities class-action that did not involve a restatement of results.

Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck) is a global health care company that delivers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. Shares of MRK fell by 0.67% or $-0.275/share to $40.88. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $36.91 and as high as $48.00. On average, 13797700 shares of MRK exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 6835287.