Merck Won’t Disclose Mumps Vaccine Efficacy, Say Scientists Accusing Company Of Falsifying Tests



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Mumps vaccine manufacturer Merck & Co. Inc. is accused in a court filing of refusing to respond to a discovery request asking for the efficacy of the mumps vaccine as a percentage, reports say. Two of Merck’s former scientists, now whistleblowers, accuse Merck of deliberately falsifying tests in order to make the mumps component of its MMRII vaccine appear more effective than it actually is.

The scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, are represented by attorneys at Constantine Cannon, and those attorneys have now “asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request,” according to Reuters. They say that Merck refuses to answer the question and gives the excuse that it cannot run a new clinical trial in order to be able to state the efficacy in a different way. Instead, the company is using a “cut-and-paste” method of disclosure, repeating the efficacy results in the exact same way the data was depicted a half century ago.

“Merck should not be permitted to raise as one of its principal defenses that its vaccine has a high efficacy, which is accurately represented on the product’s label, but then refuse to answer what it claims that efficacy actually is,” the letter to the U.S. Magistrate stated. The whistleblowers’ lawsuit was filed in 2010 and asserted that Merck deliberately skewed the efficacy tests by actually adding animal antibodies to the blood samples that were to be tested. The scientists assert that, because of this falsification, Merck has been able to declare that the mumps vaccine is 95 percent effective and in doing so, keep any competing vaccine manufacturers away from the market.

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