House Reps. call on Merck to disclose Petya damage, response

Two Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee  requested Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Kenilworth, N.J.-based Merck, release an update on the lingering effects of a June malware attack, which they alleged could lead to a drug shortage.

In their Sept. 20 letter, Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., urged Mr. Frazier to help the Committee understand the details of the Petya malware attack that disrupted operations at the pharmaceutical plant June 27. The representatives cited Merck's financial results from the second quarter, which noted "the company does not yet know the magnitude of the impact of the disruption, which remains ongoing in certain operations, it continues to work to minimize the effects."

Although there is no evidence, to date, that Merck's manufacturing disruption created a risk to patients, they claimed Petya, as well as future cyberattacks, could lead to drug shortages. The representatives requested Merck brief the committee on the circumstances surrounding the Petya malware infection and the steps it took to react to it.  

"While Merck was not the only company to suffer degraded capabilities due to the June 27 outbreak, Merck's role as a supplier of life-saving drugs and other medical products sets its infection and subsequent manufacturing issues apart and raises the possibility of more serious aftereffects for the healthcare sector as a whole," they wrote.

Mr. Walden and Mr. Murphy wrote a similar letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, urging he brief the committee on HHS' actions to address cyberattacks in the healthcare sector.   

More articles on supply chain:

House Reps. request HHS briefing on Petya attacks related to drug industry

AmerisourceBergen commits $100k+ to hurricane relief efforts

4 latest FDA approvals 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.