Author Topic: Vioxx Class Action  (Read 1600 times)

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Vioxx Class Action
« on: March 31, 2012, 03:55:13 PM »
Merck to Pay $950 Million for Vioxx Charge

Posted by Kelley Jeanie On Wednesday, November 23rd 2011 in Business

On September 30, Merck&Co announced it is pulling off the popular arthritis and pain drug Vioxx from the market due to a clinical trial that proved the drug carries an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. After 18 months of treatment the patients taking Vioxx were found to have a greater risk for heart attack and stroke compared to the ones taking a placebo.

After the withdrawal from the market, Merck was sued by shareholders, investors and patients due to its false marketing and negative effects to health.

The Supreme Court allowed a class action securities lawsuit over whether the drug maker offered enough information about the risks the drug implies before its withdrawal from the worldwide market.

Bruce Kuhlik, the drug maker?s executive vice president and general counsel declared: ?Merck is disappointed in today?s decision, but believes that the allegations in the complaint are unfounded and will continue to defend itself vigorously. The company has already made a motion to dismiss the operative complaint on numerous other grounds and will renew that motion in the district court.?

The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that Merck&Co has to pay $950 million to settle criminal and civil charges due to the promotion of Vioxx. It alleged that Merck promoted Vioxx for treating arthritis before it had been approved for this by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Tony West, the Justice Department?s assistant attorney general for the civil decision declared that they would not hesitate to pursue those who skirted the proper drug approval process and made unreasonable statements about the safety and efficacy of their products.

Merck pled guilty and will pay a $321.6 million criminal fine for promoting Vioxx into interstate commerce and a $628.4 million civil settlement due to false declarations about the drug?s heart safety. The government of the US will take $426 million of this amount and the rest will be for the states in the lawsuit.

The civil settlement agreement is signed with the U.S. and individually with 43 states and the District of Columbia, but previously disclosed litigation with seven states is still unresolved, according to Merck?s declarations.
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