Merck, a science and technology company based in Germany, is under investigation after “possibly issuing misleading information” regarding its product Levothyrox, used for treating thyroid issues.
Merck changed the formula for Levothyrox in 2017, removing lactose to make it easier to handle. However, this change has been linked to side effects such as memory loss, weight gain and palpitations.
The plaintiffs have accused Merck of not providing sufficient information regarding the change in its product.
Merck has said that the proceedings, taking place in Marseille, France, are not concerned with the product’s new formula, and that it is about the way the company provided information when changing from the old formula to the new.
Mario-Pierre Stasi, the lawyer for Merck, said the company would continue to co-operate with authorities on the matter and that full legal proceedings must be allowed to run their course.
In March 2022, the Cour de Cassation ‒ France’s highest court ‒ confirmed a 2020 Lyon appeal court ruling, which ordered Merck to pay €1,000 in compensation to the 3,300 people suffering with thyroid problems in France, after the 2017 change of formula.