Big Pharma Company Lies And Cheats To Swindle Their Foe

We all know the seemingly eternal battle between the pharmaceutical giants and everyone else. The typical scenario – The drug company has done something wrong but attempts to cover it up with piles of money.

In most of these cases, numerous people were harmed by a medication they had expected would make them better.

Ironically, this story holds the tale of two pharmaceutical giants battling, but one is not fighting by the rules; they are “playing dirty.”

Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company that has developed a drug called Harvoni that seemingly cures hepatitis C with minimal side-effects.

A subsidiary of Gilead named Pharmasset had dealings with Merck & Companyregarding Harvoni. Merck, the fourth largest pharmaceutical company, had their own version of the drug they called Sovaldi.

LA Times reported:

Harvoni, have been huge moneymakers for Gilead, bringing the company more than $20 billion in sales since the first drug was introduced in 2013.”

It’s not surprising Merck wanted exclusivity on one of the most profitable drugs on the market. Harvoni offered a far superior option to what was previously on the market.

Both companies were in the process for patents on their hepatitis drugs. The shady undertaking was done by Merck in this affair.

LA Times reported:

The case began in 2013, when Merck claimed that its patents covered Sovaldi and demanded royalties and license fees from Gilead. Gilead refused, and sued to declare Merck’s patents invalid. The trial jury rebuffed that argument and ordered Gilead to pay Merck $200 million, plus future royalties – far less than the $2 billion that Merck had sought.”

The original ruling was done with the assumption the representatives from Merckhad not lied, and that they had a legitimate case.

This we now know to be false. Merck’s representatives lied under oathand obtained their case through dishonest means.

LA Times reported:

Phillippe Durette, who was working on patents for antiviral drugs during a period when Merck was trying to reach its own deal with Pharmasset.

Durette listened in a call that discussed the formula for the drug. He wasn’t part of the confidentiality agreement. Then used the information to re-write Merck’s patent to include the upcoming hepatitis drug that Pharmasset was going to release.”

After Durette obtained the formula by snaking his way into a call, he threatened to sue Gilead for developing the drug he stole from them. He lied under oath, and then later recanted, pleading “faulty memory.”

Thankfully, Judge Beth Labson Freeman presided over the appeal Gilead filed against Merck.

Reuters reported:

An appeals court handed biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc a victory on Tuesday in its litigation with Merck & Co Inc over the blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.

Upholding a determination by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that a patent owned by Merck subsidiary Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc on a method of treating hepatitis C was invalid.”

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Merckhad sought to crush the competition, never mind efforts to make the drug more readily available for those who suffer with Hepatitis C, but instead lost one of their biggest money-makers.

The case diminished any integrity Merck may have had, and their conduct during the case was considered egregious by all.

The $200 million jury award was overturned by Freeman after hearing the evidence, which included a supposed transaction where Pharmasset had previously bought Sovaldi for $11 billion in 2011.

Judge Freeman said Merck’s actions showed “systematic and outrageous deception in conjunction with unethical business practices and litigation misconduct.”, according to the LA Times.

There is a certain expectation of greed and dishonesty when it comes to any member of the big pharma family.

Merck showed that it wasn’t concerned with the people they were supposed to be helping and that their primary motive was dominance by any means.

Hopefully, Gilead will use this case – and the massive income from their now rising stocks – as a stepping stone to focus on the recipients of their drugs.

Let us know in the comments section if you think the appeal was handled appropriately, and if you have any news of big pharma at work.