Vioxx Advertising Lawsuit
Merck agrees to pay $58 million settlement in multistate lawsuit.
Vioxx AdvertisingHarrisburg, PA: (May-20-08) A lawsuit was brought against Merck & Co., alleging that the once-popular painkiller Vioxx deceptively played down the health risks. The suit, brought by AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard, stated that owing to aggressive marketing through direct-to-consumer television ads that began in 1999, hundreds of thousands of consumers acquired Vioxx prescriptions before doctors had a chance to understand the side effects. The suit also accused the company of "ghostwriting," a practice in which academic scientists were allegedly paid to take credit for positive research articles prepared by company-hired medical writers.
As part of a settlement reached in the suit, the company agreed to pay $58 million to resolve the multistate allegations. Additionally, the company will also submit all new TV commercials for its drugs to the Food and Drug Administration for review before they can be aired. Sources stated that the agreement ends a three-year investigation by 29 states and the District of Columbia into Merck's advertising practices involving Vioxx. [THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: MERCK WILL PAY $58 MILLION IN SETTLEMENT IN VIOXX ADS]
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