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Government, Politics & Issues

Missouri settles lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Merck

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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.

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says Missouri’s $13.8 million share of the settlement will go into the state’s Medicaid program.

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