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Carol Eustice

Illegal Marketing of Vioxx for Rheumatoid Arthritis Costs Merck Big Bucks

By November 26, 2011

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The Justice Department announced that Merck, known outside the U.S. as MSD for Merck, Sharp & Dohme, has agreed to pay $950 million to resolve pending criminal charges and civil claims. Under the agreement, Merck will plead guilty to a single violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce -- that drug being Vioxx. Under the plea deal, Merck will plead guilty to a misdemeanor for illegal promotional activity and will pay a criminal fine of $321,636,000. The criminal plea deal relates to Merck's promotion of Vioxx for rheumatoid arthritis between 1999 and 2002, before it actually was approved for that condition in April 2002.

Also, as part of a civil settlement agreement, Merck will pay $628,364,000 to resolve allegations having to do with off-label markeing of Vioxx and false statements about Vioxx's cardiovascular safety. Of the civil settlement, the United States will be paid $426,389,000, while $201,975,000 will go to participating Medicaid states. Merck also will enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. Vioxx was voluntarily removed from the market in 2004. Even so, the issues surrounding the withdrawal of Vioxx have reverberated for 7 years, raising many questions about drug safety -- including procedures for drug approval and marketing.

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Comments
November 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(1) Daniel Haszard says:

The settlement with Eli Lilly over off-label sales of Zyprexa was $1.4 billion.
Be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes.
Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger.

The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.
This was Lilly’s #1 product $5 billion per year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions more on drugs that treat diabetes.
— Daniel Haszard Zyprexa activist and patient.

November 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm
(2) Sue says:

Makes me sick what the drug companies get away with. I am happy to be affiliated with an all natural product Arthri-D3. The testimonials we get are fantastic and its all natural.

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