$830 Million Settlement Reached in Vioxx Marketing Suit
In litigation brought against pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck, the company has been ordered to pay $830 million to investors for securities fraud violations relating to the illegal marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.
Although the company denies wrongdoing, investors claimed that Merck tried to hide the increased risk of cardiovascular issues faced by patients taking the drug, which has since been taken off the market. Patients taking Vioxx for rheumatoid arthritis were five times more likely than patients taking naproxen to suffer a heart attack, according to a clinical study.
Vioxx was recalled in 2004, and in 2011, Merck agreed to pay nearly $1 billion in criminal penalties due to its marketing of the drug.