U.S. Drug Firms Subpoenaed

CHICAGO -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed Merck and Schering-Plough for documents and information to see whether the companies hid results of a study on their cholesterol drug Vytorin.

The move, announced Saturday, came one day after U.S. regulators said they would review the study, called Enhance, which showed Vytorin worked no better than a generic in preventing the build-up of arterial plaque.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was not advising doctors to stop prescribing Vytorin, but shares of the two companies fell on Friday.

The two stocks have fallen more than 20 percent since the results of the study were released on Jan. 14, triggering a debate over Vytorin's value.

Cuomo said the investigation would review the marketing of Vytorin and the sale of the companies' stocks before the study's negative results were disclosed.

"We will investigate and, when appropriate, hold accountable drug companies for engaging in irresponsible and deceptive conduct and any deceitful marketing of prescription drugs," Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday.

"Drug companies are on notice that concealing critical information about life-saving prescription drugs, profiting at the expense of patients' health, and wasting taxpayer dollars, is simply unacceptable."