Merck, Plaintiffs Fight Over Privilege in Propecia Case

Propecia for hair lossPropecia drugmaker Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. has argued that a motion to compel production of more than 1,800 documents for which it claims an attorney-client or work-product privilege is premature.

But, the plaintiffs dispute that, complaining that the drugmaker has, for more than four months, “not produced a single page it previously withheld because of a misapplied claim of privilege.”

Under New York law, communications that were not written by attorneys nor sent to lawyers are not privileged, the plaintiffs steering committee wrote.

At issue are the plaintiffs’ challenges to Merck’s Propecia privilege logs for communications with no apparent attorney involvement or only with an attorney copied on an email string. “It is the identity of the participants to these communications, and in many cases the total absence of attorney-participants, which renders the privilege inapplicable,” the plaintiffs lawyers said.

Depositions of marketing, information technology and electronic-discovery executives have shown “serious misconduct by Merck in handling its documents in discovery,” the plaintiffs said.

In a previously filing about Propecia, the plaintiffs claimed that depositions of Merck representatives regarding electronically stored information have shown that Merck’s email system automatically deletes emails after 127 days; they can be preserved only “if a Merck employee actively takes initiative personally to comply with a litigation hold.”

There are more than 740 cases in the multidistrict litigation over male pattern hair loss drug Propecia under U.S. Magistrate Judge Viktor Pohorelsky of the Eastern District of New York, according to court statistics from June.

Plaintiffs Fight Over Privilege in Propecia Case

Propecia side effects

Possible decreased sexual desire can occur. In some men, Propecia can decrease the amount of semen released during sex.

This is harmless, however this has continued in some men even after stopping treatment. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor immediately.

A lot of people using this medication do not have any serious side effects from Propecia.