Monday, November 28, 2011

Merck/Vioxx To Plead Guilty To Misdemeanor, & Pay $950 Million Penalty

Bloomberg has;

By Jef Feeley and David Voreacos - Nov 23, 2011 9:44 AM ET
"Merck & Co. (MRK), the second-largest U.S. drugmaker, will pay $950 million and a unit of the company will plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge to resolve a U.S. probe of its illegal marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.

Merck Sharp & Dohme will plead guilty to one count of misbranding Vioxx, the company and U.S. prosecutors said yesterday. The company will pay a $321.6 million criminal fine and $628.3 million to resolve civil claims that it sold Vioxx for unapproved uses and made false statements about its cardiovascular safety.

The “resolution appropriately reflects the severity of Merck’s conduct and is yet another reminder that the government will not tolerate misconduct by drug companies that bend the rules and put patient safety at risk,” Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney in Boston, said yesterday in a statement. Prosecutors in her office led the seven-year investigation into the company’s Vioxx marketing tactics."

Continue reading Bloomberg coverage here.

Bloomberg Also has; (from July 27, 2010)

Merck Paid 3,468 Death Claims To Resolve Vioxx Suits

"Merck & Co. paid claims to the families of 3,468 users of its Vioxx painkiller who died of heart attacks or strokes, a court-appointed administrator told a judge today.

A $4.85 billion settlement fund made payments to the families of 2,878 Vioxx users who died of heart attacks and 590 who died of strokes, according to Lynn Greer of BrownGreer LLP, a law firm in Richmond, Virginia, that analyzed 59,365 claims.

Merck pulled Vioxx from the market in 2004 after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Merck set up the fund, which covers claims of death and lesser injuries, in 2007 after reserving $1.9 billion to fight 26,600 Vioxx suits. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans has overseen Vioxx lawsuits since February 2005 through a process known as multidistrict litigation."

a criminal misdemeanor charge

after paying on 3,468 Death Claims


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