Au contraire. The congressmen, who announced their probe the same day Merck and Schering-Plough backpedaled on the primary endpoint, released a statement this afternoon saying the House Energy and Commerce Committee are as energized as ever about learning the reasons the drugmakers behaved as they did.
â€œTodayâ€™s announcement that the Enhance study failed to find any positive benefit from the addition of Zetia to a common, inexpensive, generic therapy raises concerns that attempts were made to mask the minimal value of this new drug. Additionally, Merck and Schering-Ploughâ€™s delay in releasing study results, as well as their attempt to manipulate the data is, quite frankly, suspicious,â€ says Dingell in a statement.
â€œHeart disease is a serious and growing national problem. American consumers and their doctors should not have had to wait nearly two years for this information. Why did Merck and Schering-Plough go to great lengths to delay the study results? Why did they attempt to manipulate the data? We will continue our investigation until these questions are answered.â€
Adds Stupak: â€œIn light of todayâ€™s results, which were released nearly two years after the ENHANCE trial ended, it is easy to conclude that Merck and Schering-Plough intentionally sought to delay the release of this data. Itâ€™s currently unclear whether these companies knew that adding a new expensive drug accomplished nothing more than an established, cheaper, generic. But it is clear that our investigation is far from over.â€