Life Sciences

Florida becomes ninth state to sue Merck because of Vioxx

Pharma Compliance Alert, October 8, 2008

Add Florida to the list of states seeking money from Merck because of its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.
 
The state alleges Merck deceptively marketed and promoted Vioxx by failing to disclose its side effects, according to an article in the South Florida Business Journal. According to the suit, Merck tried to intimidate physicians and researchers who questioned the safety of Vioxx, and may have misrepresented or concealed published evidence showing possible harmful side effects.
 
Merck took Vioxx off the market in 2004 after studies suggested the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.
 
Alaska, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Texas, and Utah have already sued the company. New York City filed suit as well.
 
Earlier this year, Merck entered into a $4.85 billion settlement with patients who claim they were harmed by Vioxx. The company also agreed to pay $58 million to settle claims by 29 states and the District of Columbia that it downplayed the risks of Vioxx in advertising.

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