Now, the House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to know more about the so-called independent panel formed to review the Vytorin trial data, the study's Data Safety Monitoring Board,
stock sales by Schering-Plough execs
and the amount of money spent on Vytorin by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, given the trial results showed the drug wasn't more effective than cheap generic versions of Zocor, which is part of the Vytorin combo therapy.
The congressmen leading the probe - John Dingell and Bart Stupak, both Democrats from Michigan - sent separate letters today seeking all sorts of info from CMS and Schering-Plough. Already, they're looking at whether Merck and Schering-Plough concealed or manipulated clinical trial data, given that the release of the Vytorin data was delayed nearly two years and the primary endpoint was briefly changed without the consent of the lead investigator. The probe is also focusing on the heavy advertising for Vytorin.
This is the letter to the CMS and this is the latest letter to Schering-Plough.