Merck Sharp & Dohme Prevails Over Claims Brought Against Popular Diabetes Medications, Januvia and Janumet

March 2021

On March 9, 2021, Williams & Connolly’s client Merck Sharp & Dohme obtained twin summary judgment victories, resulting in the dismissal of claims by more than 2,000 plaintiffs related to Merck’s popular diabetes treatments, Januvia and Janumet.  

The team crafted and led a comprehensive, decade-long litigation strategy designed to focus attention on two dispositive issues—first, that the FDA’s repeated confirmation of these products’ safety profile preempts plaintiffs’ state-law claims (impossibility preemption); and second, available scientific evidence robustly supports the current labeling of the product (general causation).    

After hearings in October and December 2020 at which Paul Boehm took the lead role, Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, granted both motions for summary judgment, resulting in dismissal with prejudice of plaintiffs’ claims.  

The Williams & Connolly team representing Merck in this matter includes Paul Boehm, Ana Reyes, Doug Marvin, Steve Raber, Kait Beach, Shayon Ghosh, Emily Pistilli, and Jessica Pinkham.   
 

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