Study: Merck may have under-reported Zilmax deaths

The number of cattle deaths that could be connected to Merck's (MRK) Zilmax feed additive may be much higher than the company has reported to the FDA, a study shows.

The analysis found that over 3,800 cattle that received Zilmax in 2011-2012 died, with 40-50% of those deaths probably attributable to the drug.

A Reuters review showed that over a six-year period, Merck reported that 285 cattle died in the U.S. unexpectedly or were destroyed after being fed Zilmax.

Merck raised doubts about the veracity of the new study and expressed confidence in the product even though the company temporarily withdrew it in August.

The FDA said it would review the research.

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