Image via WikipediaMerck will pay $950 million and a unit of the company will plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge to resolve a U.S. probe of its illegal marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.
The criminal plea is tied to Merck’s off-label promotion of rofecoxib for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from 1999 until 2002, since the drug did not have an indication for RA at that time. The civil settlement is tied to a broader range of allegedly illegal conduct by Merck, including statements about the cardiovascular safety of rofecoxib made by Merck representatives. The company will also enter into an expansive corporate integrity agreement with the government.
From a press release: