Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Recalls Liptruzet Over Packaging Defects
Drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is recalling a combination cholesterol drug, called Liptruzet, after it found packaging defects. The company plans to wipe out the entire U.S. stock due to the defects as it could reduce effectiveness of the drug.
The company said the foil pouches holding the pills could allow air and moisture inside, decreasing the effectiveness. Merck, furthermore, clarified that the recall is solely based on the drug’s decreased effectiveness and not that it could harm patients.
Merck’s 2014 Action Plan
In addition, the company has provided update on its strategic actions for growth at 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. In its update, Merck said it has initiated rolling submission of U.S. Biologics License Application (BLA) for its anti-PD-1 immunotherapy MK-3475, and expects to complete regulatory application in first half of this year.
It also expects to receive approvals for other candidates, including V503, vintafolide, vorapaxar, NOXAFIL IV, vaniprevir, and the allergy immunotherapies AIT-Grass and AIT-Ragweed in various markets.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) said it is also analysing strategic options for its Animal Health and Consumer Care businesses and expects to take an appropriate action, if any, in 2014.
Chairman & CEO Kenneth C. Frazier said, “We’re taking significant and decisive action to make Merck a more competitive company, better positioned to drive innovation and growth. We’re pleased with the solid progress we have already made against each of our key areas of focus, and we are quickly moving ahead to build on this momentum to make Merck a leaner, more agile company focused on the best opportunities to create value and advance global health.”
The company aims to realize a net reduction of annual operating expenses of about $2.5 billion by the end of 2015, as part of the initiative it announced in October 2013. By 2014 end, Merck expects to save 40% of these savings.