Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri consumers who used the prescription pain reliever Vioxx for treatment of arthritis conditions.
The settlement was over claims that New Jersey-based Merck violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act through the promotion and sale of Vioxx. The agreement must still be approved by Jackson County Circuit Court.
Missouri will receive nearly $14 million, as part of a settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against drug manufacturer Merck.
The lawsuit centers on the prescription drug Vioxx, which the company marketed as a painkiller for people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Merck has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for promoting the drug before receiving FDA approval, and it will pay $950 million in criminal and civil penalties. The company halted sales of Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.