A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

AG Coakley Wins Settlement with Merck on Vioxx

AG Coakley Wins Settlement with Merck on Vioxx

May 20, 2008

From Attorney General Martha Coakley's office today:

Today Attorney General Coakley’s Office filed a settlement with New Jersey-based drug manufacturer Merck and Company, Inc.(Merck) resolving concerns about the company’s deceptive advertising and promotion of the “Cox-2” inhibitor drug Vioxx which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritis. The complaint, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that Merck failed to disclose to consumers that Vioxx posed an increased risk of heart attack.

The consent judgment, also filed today in Suffolk Superior Court will prohibit Merck from misleading consumers in advertising for any Merck product and requires full disclosure of all known risks of Merck drugs. Additionally, Merck will make a $58 million payment to the participating states. Massachusetts will receive $1.64 million of the payment of which $500,000 will go to the Attorney General’s Local Consumer Aid Fund, $144,654 will go to costs and attorneys fees and $1 million will be put into a special fund to benefit low income, disabled or elderly consumers of prescription medications or to educate consumers concerning the cost differences among medications. The payment to the states is the largest consumer protection settlement to date concerning deceptive marketing and promotion of a prescription drug.

Good deal. Go Martha!