As reported in the Dallas Morning News, Merck & Co. is paying $58 million as part of a multistate settlement concerning advertising of the now-withdrawn painkiller, Vioxx. Here are excerpts:
The settlement announced Tuesday addresses allegations that Merck’s advertising deceptively downplayed the health risks of Vioxx. New Jersey-based Merck is not admitting any wrongdoing under the settlement.
Texas’ share of the settlement will exceed $4 million, Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement.
Texas also has an active case in Travis County District Court from 2005 that accuses Merck of suppressing critical information about Vioxx to doctors, patents and the state Medicaid program, which spent $72 million on Vioxx prescriptions for Medicaid recipients during the period covered in the enforcement action.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says Tuesday’s settlement ends investigations by 29 states and the District of Columbia into Merck’s advertising practices involving Vioxx.
The settlement also calls for Merck to submit all new TV commercials for ts drugs to the FDA for review.
Vioxx was taken off the market in 2004 after research showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.