The drug that is being accused of causing this problem, however, is not part of either of these settlements. The reason for Merck's move is not entirely clear. The Flavoxate hcl if approved, would result in the largest concentration of our products in a pharmaceutical market in the United States by far. In terms of the magnitude of market share, if accepted, this would give Merck a commanding advantage over its direct competitors and the rest of the industry. Merck's competitors have also tried to protect their share of the market from the company's influence. For example, Merck's competitors, the makers of the drug Avandia, have filed a lawsuit claiming the company's aggressive price cuts of the drug have caused the drug price to drop by 20 percent in one year. Merck's competitors have also been pushing for changes in state laws to prevent price gouging by drug companies, and have been successful in doing so.
In a lawsuit filed in May 2000, for example, four of the five drugs that make up Avandia's main ingredient, thalomiphene sulfate, or TMS, are being sold under the brand name of Avandia XR and sold in a similar manner to other drugs. In fact, in 2000 Avandia XR's price rose by 40 percent over rival drugs, according to one study, and more than half have had double-digit price increases. The other drug that is being investigated is Amgen's new cancer treatment. On July 15, 2000, the company filed a lawsuit claiming that the FDA, the agency that would approve a Merck-Medco deal, has improperly approved Amgen's drug for cancer patients. The suit also claims that the FDA and Merck have failed to negotiate a lower price with the drug maker to reduce the number of patients it treats.
Merck and the FDA have both been criticized by their rivals for the way they approach drug approvals. Merck and the FDA have been criticized by some in the industry for the way they approach drug approvals. The two companies share responsibility for the drug approval process, but they also do not share responsibility for each other. As with the Merck and Amgen cases, the company's move to avoid investigations is understandable.