Merck Settles on Vioxx in New York and Sentenced in Massachusetts

The New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced last week  that he has secured a settlement with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a unit of Merck & Co., resolving civil and criminal charged that the pharmaceutical giant marketed its drug Vioxx for uses not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and misrepresented the cardiovascular safety of the drug. As part of the multistate and federal agreement, Merck will pay a total of $615 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid, Medicare and other governmental healthcare programs – over $61 million of which will be paid to New York State, Schneiderman said.  In addition, , the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said that Merck, Sharp & Dohme was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to pay a criminal fine in the amount of $321.64 million in connection with its guilty plea related to its promotion and marketing of the painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib).