Merck Pays $285K to Idaho For Vioxx Settlement


One of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers has agreed to send more than a quarter-million dollars to the State of Idaho, as part of a settlement over allegations of illegal marketing of Vioxx, used to treat osteoarthritis and acute pain.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced the $285,991 settlement, which will send $96,689 to the Idaho Medicaid Program and $189,302 to the state's general fund.

The settlement resolved allegations that Merck made false representations concerning the safety of Vioxx, which caused physicians to write prescriptions for the drug that they otherwise would not have written, causing Medicaid to pay for prescriptions that should not have been reimbursed.

In September 2004, Merck voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the global market, citing an increase in the incidence of adverse cardiovascular events in patients taking Vioxx.